Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July Doings!

Well, it's the end of another busy month, which means it's time for another Doings post. July really has just flown by, it seems-

What's that you say? July's not over yet? We still have over a week to go?

Well, I do actually know that. However, I won't be able to put up Doings at the usual time, for reasons which I'll explain later. For now, on with the post!


  •  As I mentioned last month, I'm once again participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. My project this month was Fight Song, a superhero novella. Synopsis for those interested:
Three years ago, she saw murder done.
Three years ago, everyone said she was crazy.
They still say it now. But she knows what she saw. She knows what she heard. And she will find the killer no one knows is a killer and bring him to justice, even if no one in the world believes her.
Because she's just one girl. But she has the power of her songs at her back- songs that can shape the world if used the right way- and she's not going to let anything stop her from completing her mission.
  • My goal was only 10K words, which is my lowest NaNo goal yet. I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to get through, and I'm glad I didn't try for more. Although I did hit 10K less than halfway through the month, I don't think I could've made it to 15K, let 20K, by this time. As it is, I won with about 12K words, and I should be able to finish the rest of the novel sometime in the next week or two.
  • For those desiring snippets, the first two paragraphs of the novel:
The digital clock behind the receptionist's desk had just turned to twelve, and I was starting to wonder if I could get away with sleeping on duty when I heard it: the song of death.
The discordant notes jolted me into alertness, chasing all thoughts of sleep from my mind. I'd heard that song once before- when my family sat 'round my gramma's bed while she traveled through the pearly gates. It sounded worse now. Then it had bordered on being real music; this time it was . . . not. Not music, not simply noise, but something so harsh and wrong that listening was physically painful.
  • And another piece of dialog that made me rather happy:
"All business, Songbird?" Jonathan turns his computer towards me. "Our villain committed the classic blunder-"
I can't resist. "He got involved in a land war in Asia?"
Jonathan rolls his eyes, though in an amused way. "No."
"Oh, so he went up against a Sicilian when death was on the line?"
"Good grief, Songbird, do you want the information or not?"
  • Outside of Camp, I haven't done much other writing or editing, though I am hoping to re-edit at least one chapter of Destinies and Decisions before the month is out, and there's one or two stories (or story pieces) that I want to write for blogs if I can find time. We'll see how that works out.


  • I have read approximately 50% of The Shadow Rising and that's all. In my defense, I've been busy, and when I've gotten free time, other things have taken priority. In general, my feelings about this book so far are about the same as my feelings about the first three books. I'm not a Rand fan, though he has improved. I like Perrin, though he's currently making a questionable choice or two and his refusal to admit that he's ta'veren is rather amusing. Faile needs to get off her high horse and stop driving Perrin crazy. Egwene is challenging Celeana Sardothien for the position of "Most Aggravating Female Character (Who Still Actually Does Something) Ever." Mat and Thom are both awesome and two of my favorite characters. Elayne is alternately annoying me with her Rand-crazyness and making me happy as she gets a chance to shine a bit away from Egwene's shadow. and Nynaeve continues to be fabulous and my other favorite character.
  • I'm still hoping to finish The Shadow Rising by the end of July. I don't know if it'll happen or not, though.
  • Oh, and I listened to The Penderwicks at Point Mouette with my family. I always enjoy the Penderwicks books, so that was fun. And it's sort of reading, right?


  •  Most of the month was occupied by my internship, which just ended today. I am very glad to not have to get up at 5:15 or 5:45 anymore unless I want to, let me tell you. I did enjoy the work, though, and I accomplished a lot in the relatively short time I was there. And today I had to give a briefing on what I'd done and learned during my internship, and I actually did pretty well, so that made me happy.
  • We celebrated Independence Day weekend with a trip down to Lexington to visit a family friend who we haven't seen since we moved. I enjoyed the trip, and got a lot of writing done on it- 9+ hours in the car is pretty useful in that respect (even if a lot of that time was taken up by listening to the aforementioned audiobook).
  • I crocheted my sister a dragon! The picture is above, for those interested. I'm really happy with how it turned out, especially as it's only my second crochet project. The hardest part of making him was actually sewing all the pieces together; making the parts was all single crochet and decreasing, which is pretty easy. I used the Hannah's Red Dragon pattern, though I used the wings from Tarragon the Gentle Dragon (which is a knit pattern that my sister has done more than a dozen times) because when I grabbed the dragon pattern, the author hadn't added wings. I want to make myself a similar dragon now, but I have to figure out what yarn to use, as I don't have enough red left.
  • Last weekend, my church had a summer carnival/festival/mini-VBS thing. I ended up running the can-knock-down game. It was exhausting, but not as bad as I expected, and some of the kids were pretty cute. I think my game ended up being one of the most popular ones, partially because it was easy and partially because I tended to be generous with the tickets. 
  • We also had a fair amount of family visiting this month. My grandpa came up the weekend of the 9th, which was fun. And then last weekend my aunt, uncle, and cousins visited, which was also nice since we haven't seen them in a while.
  • We finally visited Fort Stanwix! Fort Stanwix is a recreation of a Revolutionary War fort- the only fort which never fell to the British during that war, and the site where the first red, white, and blue American flag was flown. I've wanted to go there ever since we moved here, since it looked pretty cool and like a great place to take pictures. As it turns out, it's even better than I expected. Like Williamsburg, it's a sort of "living history" site- but because it's a recreation rather than an original, you can actually go into the rooms, sit on the chairs, touch and pick up the stuff, and so on- which both made it more fun and better for photography. A few rooms were blocked off, yes, but I think that they may be on a rotation: some are open one day, some are open another, and some are open all the time. I also did my first escape room at Fort Stanwix, which was really fun. It wasn't quite what I was expecting- it was less like the escape room games I've played on the computer and more like a Nancy Drew or puzzle game- but I still enjoyed it.
  • I bought a Kindle! I haven't actually used it because (A) I don't have a case for it yet, and (B) I've barely read anything all month. But it's still nice to have one that's all my own as opposed to technically being my mom's. (Not that she used it much at all- it was mostly my sister and I who read things on it.)

 August (and the last ten days of July) Plans!

  •  As you may or may not have guessed and/or remember from my June Doings post, I'm taking another internet hiatus, starting on Friday, July 22. It should last for two weeks and a bit, so I'll be back in mid-August.
  • However, I may be spotty during the rest of August; it's hard to say. I should be back to my regular posting schedule (or will have formulated a new schedule) by September, barring calamity. Just warning you.
  • I really want to read more in August and the end of July than I have the rest of the month. No internet should help with that, though, as should not having an internship to keep me busy.
  • I also want to finish writing Fight Song and then maybe work on some short fiction. And also fanfiction, if I can get my ideas sorted out. And once my hiatus ends, I'm going to get back to work editing Destinies and Decisions and whatever else I decide needs edited. 
  • And there's something else happening in August, the nature of which some of you (or most of you) may be able to guess. And I think I should be slightly terrified about it, but I haven't had much time to be, so I'm just vaguely nervous and absentmindedly conscious that I really ought to have done more to prepare by now. So that's probably good- the not-being-terrified bit, I mean. Not the needing-to-prepare bit.
How's your July been? What plans do you have for August and the rest of the month? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade) 


  1. Cute dragon!! I wouldn't mind having one of those, actually! :D
    That looks like a cool book that you're reading. I want to say I've seen it a dozen times in the library, but I've never actually picked it up. Maybe I should!
    I love the dialogue from your book. Will you post it here when you're done? Or are you going to keep this one for publishing?
    So far my July has been going well. I stayed home alone for four days while my family went to Bible camp, so that I could take care of the farm and animals and (theoretically) write. I did get some writing done, but I was actually busy most of the time trying to keep up with a farm that normally has nine people caring for it. 0_0 I still had a lot of fun. It was just a little taste of what it would be like to live on my own.
    This next month, I'll be getting ready to teach art for our church's VBS, and the Russell Clan (Broken Lens Productions) will be doing a concert at our church, so we'll be getting ready for that too. :)

    1. Thanks! And depending how things work out, I could maybe make that happen . . . I'd have to think it through a bit.
      I would recommend giving the Wheel of Time a try. It's a pretty good series, on the whole.
      I am going to post Fight Song on the blog once I'm finished writing and editing it! (Or, once I'm finished writing it and in the process of editing . . .)
      Glad to hear you're doing well! Staying on the farm alone sounds tiring, though I can see how it would be fun too. And VBS and a concert both sound exciting!

  2. Can I just say I loooove your commentary on the Wheel of Time? Lol. So true ; D

    Sounds like you had a super-productive month!

  3. Ooh, intriguing snippets.
    That dragon is so darned cute. XD

    It's also awesome that you live near a Revolutionary War fort. It would be amazing to live close enough to visit a site like that... *wistful horizon stare*

    Best of luck in your future doings! :D

    1. Danke and danke. :D

      It's super awesome. :D I want to go there again sometime this week so I can do a photoshoot with my sister, maybe.


  4. Your little crocheted dragon is SO SO CUTE I LOVE IT. It reminds me of how much I'd love to be able to do something like that and how I failed crochet/knitting so badly hahahaha. I shall probably just stick to origami. (I need to learn how to fold an origami dragon tho, clearly.)
    Have fun on your hiatus!! I'm guessing it's nearly over and you'll be back blogging soon by now, right?! :P
    Also I LOVE the Princess Bride reference in your snippet.😂 So much win. So much awesome.

    1. THANK YOU! Origami is super cool, though. I used to do it all the time (my parents got me a page-a-day origami calender for Christmas one year) but I eventually lost interest and just used the pages as pretty paper for card-making. xD And you should learn to fold an origami dragon; that would be so cool!
      I'm actually back now; just haven't gotten back to actual blogging as I'm still catching up on all the intereneting.
      Hehe, thank you! :D


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