Saturday, March 31, 2018

March 2018 Doings!

Well, what do you know? March's Doings! post is up right on time, despite the fact that this has been another pretty busy month! The fact that I'm currently on break for Easter probably helps; I actually wrote this post in one sitting instead of writing bits and pieces here and there over the course of multiple days. Anyway. What have I been up to that's kept me so busy? Let's find out!


  • As a recap, my goal for the month was fifteen minutes of writing-related work per day, six days a week, or two chapters of Fight Song and a plan for April completed. I didn't quite get the first goal, mostly because class assignments kept trying to murder me (though there were also a few days in there when I got caught up in something else— like writing blog posts or playing board games or reading books— and failed to write as a result). 
  • However, I still managed to edit not two but four chapters (well, more like three and a bit; I'm pretty sure I was in the middle of a chapter when the month started). I think that aiming for fifteen minutes a day instead of thirty was a good choice for the same reason that the 100-4-100 challenge was effective while it lasted— except, for me, fifteen minutes works even better than a hundred words. It's a small enough goal that I can squeeze it between other things, but once I'm working, I often keep going. But I don't have to keep going if I don't want to. It's nice.
  • Besides working on Fight Song, I did a bit more worldbuilding on my multiverse (well, more like I recorded worldbuilding I'd already done in my head, but y'know) and tried again to work on my short story for the Indie e-Con contest. Said short story isn't working very well and it frustrates me. Oh well.
  • As for plans for April . . . well, I know I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo, and I probably know which project I'm working on. And it's a rewriting/editing project, so I don't really need more than that, right? (I definitely need more than that. Hopefully, by tomorrow morning I'll have more. But we'll talk about that later.)


  • So, I felt like I read a lot this month, but apparently, I only managed four books? One of those was The Three Musketeers, though, which is both a classic and fairly long, so that's probably part of it.
  • Part of why I feel like I had such a good reading month, though, is probably that I really enjoyed most of the books I read. Admittedly, Ink, Iron, and Glass wasn't quite as amazing as I hoped it would be (I had issues with the worldbuilding, and the author fell into cliches occasionally), but I still really enjoyed it. And The City Beyond the Glass was a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling that I really enjoyed, even if it can't beat Entwined (which I'm not likely to shut up about any more than I am about Anne Elisabeth Stengl or Brandon Sanderson or dragons). As for The Three Musketeers, it had excellent writing, an exciting plot, and a fairy modern feel, but suffered from a cast primarily composed of complete jerks. (There are, I believe, exactly three exceptions, maybe four. No more.)
  • And then there's THE LOST PLOT! Also known as the latest Invisible Library novel! Also known as the book that made me realize I desperately need more fantasy set in 1920s America. (Anyone have any recommendations? Maybe?) Obviously, it was awesome— it's an Invisible Library novel; there's no way it couldn't be awesome. It involved the dragons more, which I liked (even if that meant fewer Fae), and all the twistyness and mystery of the other books. Not 100% certain how I feel about the ending— some elements I really liked; some made me sad; and some I'm trying to withhold judgment on so I can see how they work out in other books. Also, Irene is awesome and I would rather like to be her in many respects. Just sayin'.


  • I finished the Key of the Starry Heavens arc over break, as I hoped, and I'm slightly torn about it. On one hand, it was extremely frustrating and some of the plot twists didn't quite make sense, and . . . yeah. It was frustrating. On the other hand, it had a fabulous emotional payoff in a couple places. For example, when characters finally realized "Wait, we have the same goals, let's actually cooperate to achieve them!" And also one fight in which one of the heroes, instead of beating up the villain he was fighting, is like "No, let's save her by showing her that what she's doing isn't worth the damage she's inflicting on herself." (The fact that the character in question is kind of one of the more annoying villains in the show made his decision even more impressive, in my opinion.) Yeah. Those were good bits. I don't know that they made up for the overall aggravation the arc caused me, but still.
  • Now the roommate and I are about halfway through Grand Magic Games arc and I'm really enjoying it. It's relatively low stakes compared to a lot of the other arcs (at least so far; I have a feeling that the stakes are going to rise significantly pretty soon), with more focus on character relationships and development— and, of course, plenty of opportunities to showcase different characters' awesome powers and their strengths both magical and personality-based. There are a lot of "YES THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU" moments and a lot of "Oh storms that was crazy AWESOME" moments and yeah. I can understand why the roommate loves this arc so much.
  • Also: at some point, I apparently became emotionally attached to Laxus and I don't know when or how and it's mildly frustrating because I spent so much time yelling at him for being a dragon-kissed jerk. His character has developed pretty nicely, though. And his big moment in the Grand Magic Games arc? Awesome.


  • The month started with spring break, which was an odd mix of STRESS and chill. It started with a three-day power outage at my house (thankfully, we have wonderful friends who let us stay over so we could have things like heat and running water), followed by my getting my wisdom teeth out— which, I'd like to note, went about three million times better than anyone implied it would. I'm pretty sure that some of the people I talked to were like "Oh, yeah, I basically couldn't move or think or do anything for three or four days afterward," and even the people who didn't have horror stories implied that I'd be down for the count for a day at least due to either loopiness or trying to sleep off the loopy. But, as things worked out, I was mildly nonfunctional after the surgery for, oh I don't know, maybe a couple hours? And that wasn't even caused by loopiness; I was just hungry and grumpy and in pain so I didn't want to do anything except sit in my chair and read webcomics. But, y'know, that evening I finished drafting the paper I'd started before the procedure that morning, and the next day I was back to doing homework and editing and reading as normal. The only real issue was that I got frustrated pretty quickly by how little I could eat without pain, but otherwise, I was able to spend most of break chilling, writing, reading good books (and webcomics), and doing some homework.
  • Then I got back to college and everything was crazy again because I had projects for two different classes that I hadn't been able to work on over break (or, not much, anyway) because they required resources I didn't have at home and yeah. I don't think that's slowed down at all this month— at least not until this weekend, as I'm currently on Easter break and took yesterday for some well-earned rest. I made a really cool infographic about self-publishing, though! And a storyboard about self-publishing (which is where the picture up there is from)! And I wrote a paper about my MBTI type and how it affects the way I work!
  • Also, caramel M'n'Ms are very yummy. Just throwing that out there, if anyone was curious.
  • I also celebrated Pi Day, of course . . . even though my college dining hall totally failed to help me. You'd think that in a school where engineering is one of the biggest majors on campus, people would make a bigger deal out of Pi Day and that a dining hall as big on holiday specials and bonus bites and responding to student needs and desires would bring in pie to celebrate . . . but nope! Not a pie in sight! I had to go on a special quest to the convenience store to get myself a mini apple pie so I could observe the holiday. (I almost bought myself a full-size chocolate turtle pie, but I wasn't sure who else would want to eat it with me, plus I didn't want to spend that much money.)
  • I'm still looking for summer internships, and I've applied to several, but no luck so far. I did get a phone interview for one position, but the organization wanted someone with more social media and marketing experience— and, honestly, I don't blame them. I mean, yes, I'm a quick learner, and I know how to reapply knowledge I already have to new situations, but I understand why they'd be wary of bringing on someone who won't know what she's doing until she actually does it. I haven't heard back yet from any of the other positions I applied for, so right now I kind of just have to wait and see what happens.

April Doings!

  • Of course I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo— I may be in college, taking design and writing classes in which almost every project is highly time-consuming, but there's no way I'd miss my favorite month of mild insanity! Originally I was going to aim for a time-based goal of 15 hours of writing or editing, but apparently, you can't have a goal of fewer than 30 hours, so that's out. Instead, I'm aiming for 10K words, since that was pretty manageable last April. (Plus, I haven't had a word-based goal all year, so I might as well change it up a bit, right?)
  • What am I working on, you ask? Well, assuming everything goes to plan, I'll be revisiting my epic fairy tale retelling series— y'know, the one with that one book that I spent two years working on. However, I'm not writing a new book; instead, I'm rewriting Danger in the Tower, which I'm tentatively renaming Dust of Silver. Dust of Silver is a retelling of Rapunzel mixed with the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and I'm writing it for Kendra E. Ardnek's Arista Challenge. Or, more accurately, I'm using the Arista Challenge as motivation to start something I've been meaning to do for a couple years now. Because I discovered so much about the world of these books while I was working on Monster in the Castle and my multiverse worldbuilding thing, I really need to rewrite both Dust of Silver and Monster in the Castle (which will be renamed once I get to it) before I can continue with my other ideas for the series. (I have a genderswapped Cinderella retelling that I'm so excited to write, which I think might be the next book, and I have ideas for another plotline later in the series but I don't know what fairy tale I can connect it to yet.) So, yeah. Ten thousand words won't get me super far, but it'll be a start.
  • Besides Camp NaNoWriMo, well, most of my time will be taken up by school-as-usual. I have three more Illustrator projects to get through, an online help documentation thing to write and design, a group project for Design Thinking, another paper, and a few things for editing. That plus classes will probably keep me pretty busy.
  • Oh, and as if I didn't have enough to do, a group of people in my major are going on a trip to North Carolina in late April! We're going to visit Samaritan's Purse and see how professional writers function in a nonprofit of that type, and then we'll spend the rest of the weekend enjoying the local area. Since I did work to help pay for the trip last semester, I'm definitely going . . . but I am a little upset that it interferes with all the end-of-year stuff for Honors. Grr . . .
  • And hopefully, I can squeeze in some reading and watching-of-Fairy Tail too somehow. We'll see what happens. One thing's for sure: April definitely won't be boring!
How was your month? What plans do you have for April? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. It's so cool that you're going to NC! I love my little homestate!

    And Camp NaNo! EEK!! I can't wait. One of my friends ran into the same problem as you. She wanted to do 13 hours, but the minimum is 30. I suggested that she do the equivalent minutes instead and it worked. 15 hours would be about 900 minutes, if you're interested in trying that.

    *Gasp* No one celebrated Pi Day?! For shame! And caramel M&Ms are awesome!!!

    It sounds like your month was pretty great! I hope April is just as good!

    1. It sounds like a nice state. *nods*

      Thanks for the suggestion! Another friend brought that up too, but so far, the 10K goal seems like it's going to work out ok. I just have to make sure I don't get lazy, haha.

      I know! On both counts!

      Thanks! Same to you!


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