Friday, March 29, 2019

Camp NaNoWriMo Encouragement

Hello, friends! In case you haven't noticed, the month of March is almost over, and April is almost here. And that means . . . you know it . . .

I've participated in every Camp NaNoWriMo event I could since 2012 or 2011, one of the two, and I'm not about to stop now — especially since I need the extra motivation to finish certain projects. (Mechanical Heart edits/rewrites are taking so storming long. I blame politics.) However, I'm also pretty sure that this round of NaNo-ing will be more difficult than some of the other times I've done it. I'm busier; I have more stressful classes; and I'm having trouble with my project but I don't have time to take a real work-on-something-else-to-reset-my-brain break. I know others are in the same boat, so I thought I'd give us all a hand by posting some Camp NaNoWriMo encouragement for the month.

(Also, on a housekeeping note: because I would like to not die of stress, I will probably take a blogging mostly-hiatus for the month of April. I'll post Doings next Friday-ish, but that's about it.)

Camp NaNoWriMo Encouragement

  1. There's a reason you're writing your story. There is a purpose to the fact that you are writing this story at this time. You probably have your own reasons for writing what you do, whether you just want to have fun or you're trying to finish a to-be-published book before its deadline. But there are other reasons too; there are plans at work beyond your own. So whatever you're writing, even if it's the "wrong" book in some sense, there is purpose behind it.
  2. Imperfect but existent is better than the imagined ideal. Or, in other words, what you write doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be written. This is something I really need to remember this month, since I'm kind of in a weird spot with my WIP. I'm writing a lot of new material, but I'm technically editing the book as a whole, so I feel pressured to make everything perfect the first time around. But I need to keep in mind that what's written can be edited and made better, but what stays only in my head does me no good, no matter how good or bad it seems.
  3. The only true failure is giving up. Did you put words on your page? Did you make words you had better than they used to be? Did you sit down and try to make the words go even if they didn't cooperate? If you did any of these things, you have not failed, even if you didn't accomplish exactly what you intended.
  4. You are capable of more than you think. The only thing easier than overestimating your abilities is underestimating them. We so easily say "Oh, no, I can't do that; that's too big a challenge for me." And sometimes that's true — sometimes there is a story you're not ready to write or a goal that's too much of a stretch. But those situations are rarer than you think. And here's the thing: for me, at least, if I say "I don't know if I can do this, but I'll try anyway," I often succeed. Even if I don't, I learn more from trying than I would from doing nothing.
  5. Camp NaNoWriMo is an adventure. Here's the thing about adventures: they're never easy. If they were, they wouldn't be adventures. But the challenges in adventures always mean something; they're never purposeless. And, y'know, every adventurer has bad days — it's not all ponie rides in May sunshine, as anyone who's read The Hobbit knows. But, as we also know from that book, even dragons have their endings, and bad days don't last forever.
In conclusion, whether you're pumped and ready for Camp NaNoWriMo or not at all ready but hoping to give it your best shot, don't forget that it's an adventure and you need to give yourself grace for the bad days and take full advantage of the good days. Best of luck, and may the words flow easily from your pens!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, March 22, 2019

Spring 2019 Reads!

Hello, everyone! Spring is finally here (and the weather's actually cooperating with that statement), which means it's time for another season of reads! Now, I'm still way behind on my winter releases (and I'm sure I'm not the only one), but that's no reason not to be excited for more new books. After all, you can never have too many books. And this season actually has a lot of pretty promising releases, so let's get started!

Spring 2019 Reads!

1. The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds (March 5). Ok, so I normally avoid contemporary books unless I'm being paid to review them because, let's be real, if I want real-world angst, I can just walk outside and find the nearest awkward couple. But this one has time-travel in it, and . . . ok, it's a time-travel trope I'm a little iffy on. Still, I'd be willing to give it a try if I have time.

2. To Best the Boys by Mary Weber (March 19). I honestly thought this was a contemporary, just based on the title, and so avoided it on principle. Then everyone I knew abruptly started yelling on the internet about how good it was, and I decided that I'd better look into it. And what I found? Scientist girls, mysterious mazes, and potentially-deadly challenges. With all those factors in its favor, I just might have to pick this one after all.

3. Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy (March 26). It's a sci-fi King Arthur retelling! With a cranky teenage Merlin! (I'll bet you and anyone else five bucks that the authors took at least a little inspiration from the BBC Merlin.) I am, naturally, down for this. I might even buy it if it turns out really good, if only so I can shove it at my roommate and tell her to read it too.

4. We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett (April 2). Y'know how I keep yelling about how I want more historical fantasy in unique time periods? We've got historical fantasy set during the Civil War, "complicated friendships" (yes please!), and spying! What more could I ask for? (Don't answer that.)

5. The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews (April 4). And here we have one of the few authors whose books I'll read even if they are contemporary. I'm 99% certain that The Boy Who Steals Houses will make a mess of my emotions just based on what Cait Grace has said about it. All the same, I'm looking forward to reading more of her books and hopefully getting some cute found-family moments. We'll see!

6. Descendent of the Crane by Joan He (April 9). Asian! Inspired! Fantasy! I still haven't gotten to most of the books in this genre that came out this winter, but that just means I can binge-read all of it once I get home on summer break. It'll be fabulous. Also, reluctantly responsible rulers and murder mysteries are two of my favorite things. So, yeah, I can't wait to read this one.

7. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (April 23). And now we've got Indian/Hindu mythology in the mix, which is probably going to be a wild ride, but I'm not complaining. We've got assassins, we've got politics, we've got masterminds . . . if it goes right, it'll be awesome. Admittedly, some things in the synopsis make me a little worried about whether or not it'll actually go right, but we can hope!

8. Romanov by Nadine Brandes (May 7). More historical fantasy! About Anastasia! Not that I know a whole lot about Anastasia, but still: historical! fantasy! In Russia! My reading list is deliciously multicultural, and I'm so excited. Plus, I've been meaning to read Nadine's books for ages — I have Fawkes on my shelf, but I just haven't had time, but maybe Romanov will change that.

9. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (May 14). Ok, we all know how this one's going to go — any time a young, reasonably attractive person in fantasy is sent to kill another young, reasonably attractive person, they end up falling in love and having to make semi-complicated moral choices. But the characters themselves sound interesting, and the last Arabian fantasy I read was beautiful, so I'm hoping for a repeat experience. We'll see how it goes.

10. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg (May 28). The first time I heard about this book, I passed it by. However, since I've been taking a class on AI this semester, I'm more interested in how modern media presents artificial intelligence and deals with the question of whether or not a program can be a person. With that plus the fact that this is a mystery, I think it's worth including on the reading list.

What reads are you most excited for this spring? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Let's Talk About Pie.

So, in case you didn't notice, yesterday was Pi Day. And while I may not be a STEM major, I still enjoy the holiday because it's an excuse to eat pie, which happens to be one of my favorite food types in the world. A well-made pie is on level with a well-made cake . . . and a poorly-made pie is far superior to a poorly-made cake, at least if you ask me. Pie also happens to bear the distinction of being both a dinner food and a dessert food, so you really can't go wrong.

Now, my college, despite being heavily focused on STEM (especially engineering), failed to serve any sort of pie yesterday, which made celebrating very difficult. Technically I could've bought a slice of Reese's peanut butter pie at the Hive, but I forgot that existed until my roommate reminded me long after dinnertime ended. So, in a last-ditch effort to mark the day somehow, I'm writing my weekly post about my favorite types of pie. I mean, I'm writing it on Thursday anyway, so it counts, right?

Let's Talk About Pie.

Let's Talk About Pie.

Pecan pie slice
  1. Pecan pie. This is, hands-down, the best type of pie, at least when it's made right. Yes, it's very sweet, and yes, it is pretty much made of sugar and pecans, but I'd say those are benefits, not bugs. Of course, part of why I like it so much is that I don't get it super often, so when I do, it's like a special treat.
    Chicken pot pie (whole, in dish)
  2. Homemade chicken pot pie. And by that I mean the sort that's actually in a pie crust, not the sort with biscuits on top — I mean, I love the type with biscuits on top, but that's technically a chicken pot cobbler, not a chicken pot pie. It's basically one of the ultimate comfort foods in my book: warm and savory and filling, with the deliciousness of a good homemade pie crust to complement the chicken and veggies . . . yeah. It makes me happy.
    lattice-topped apple pie
  3. Apple pie. Otherwise known as the number one dessert pie that everyone in my family can agree on. But really, you can't go wrong with a good apple pie. I prefer it hot with ice cream, but I'm not opposed to the idea of putting cheese on top — it's like a cinnamony dessert version of a grilled cheese-and-apple sandwich, and we all know how delicious those are.
    Slice of grasshopper pie
  4. Grasshopper pie. For the uninitiated: grasshopper pie is a fluffy mint pie with chocolate chips and oreo pieces in it. Usually, it has a chocolate crumb crust, though sometimes you'll get a graham cracker crust instead. Like most things that involve mint and chocolate, it's delicious — though it's also often so light that you're strongly tempted to eat a second piece. Then again, I'm almost always tempted to eat a second piece of the pie.
  5. Spaghetti pie. Tell me: is this a common thing in anyone else's house? (Not that it's a common thing in my house anymore, but it used to be.) A "crust" of spaghetti and cheese, topped with tomato sauce, ground beef, and more cheese, it's almost like a pie version of lasagna, just with different noodles. (Also, I just had a vague, half-formed idea for a version using eggplant instead of beef that seems really good in theory? I'm going to have to think about it more.) Anyway. It's delicious and I love it. (Also, my family had it for Pi Day, and I'm really sad that I missed it.)
What are your favorite types of pie? Do you celebrate Pi Day? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, March 8, 2019

Five Books Whose Sequels I Need IMMEDIATELY

You know the feeling. You finish an amazing, epic book. You're in love with the characters, the plot, the world, everything. You might even say you want to marry the book, if you're the sort of person who says that kind of thing. You dash to your computer, leave your Goodreads review, and then look for the sequel — only to discover that it isn't out yet. Or, worse still, there's no sequel planned.

It's a tragedy, it is. No two ways about it.

I, like most of you, have experienced that feeling many times. In fact, I'm experiencing it now as I write this blog post. And, obviously, the best way to deal with book-related frustration is to complain on the internet where other people can commisserate with you. So, here we go: five books whose sequels I'm desperate for — but have no chance of getting any time soon.

Books Whose Sequels I Need IMMEDIATELY

Five Books Whose Sequels I Need IMMEDIATELY

The Aeronaut's Windlass Cover
1. The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher. This is the book that set off this post; I've been meaning to read it for absolute years, ever since Jenelle Schmidt recommended it to me. Honestly, I ought to have read it sooner — except then I would still be waiting for the sequel now. The ending practically promises more adventure, and there's no way the characters wouldn't have more even if the ending wrapped everything up with a neat bow and a perfectly satisfying conclusion, but the sequel doesn't even have a release date. This is absolutely unfair and should be remedied immediately. (And while we're at it, maybe a book or two about Captain Grimm before this story begins? Or a short story or two, at least? Captain Grimm is the best.)

Masque Cover 
2. Masque by W.R. Gingell. Yes, I'm still yelling about this one. In this case, Gingell did wrap just about everything up with a neat bow and a satisfying conclusion — but I want more. Specifically, I want an entire spinoff series about Isabella and Lord Pecus solving mysteries and being happily (if adventurously) married and working as a proper team instead of sneaking around each other — except, of course, when one of them decides that the situation is absolutely too dangerous for the other to be involved in, but the other knows better and shows up just in time, and then the first one admits that it was for the best and it's a good thing the other showed up. (I really like that trope, ok?) Anyway. That's all I want — well, that and more about Melchior and Annabel, and Poly and Luck, but that's not so much to ask, is it?

Illusionarium Cover 
3. Illusionarium by Heather Dixon Wallwork. I love Heather Dixon's writing, but she has a habit of writing a story and then not writing sequels to it, or even spinoffs, and so even though you're in love with the characters, the one book is all you get. And that's not so bad when the book is Entwined and it ends with everyone in their happily-ever-after (even though you're fairly certain they could manage a few more adventures), but when the book is Illusionarium and there's no chance whatsoever that the characters didn't find more adventure? Then it's immensely frustrating, especially since there's next to no chance that the author will ever do anything about it.

An Enchantment of Ravens cover 
4. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. How long has it been since I raved about this one? (A fair while, I think — which is somewhat surprising, given how amazing it is.) Anyway. Once again, there is no way whatsoever that Isobelle and Rook don't have further adventures after the story ends. No storming way. And while there are plenty of ways that a sequel could go wrong, I am confident that Rogerson could make it go extremely right. Also, I love this book and this world and these characters and I need more of it, please and thank you very much. I have heard rumors about a sequel . . . but now I can't find where I heard them, and so I might just have imagined them.

The Sky Riders Cover 
5. The Sky Riders by Christopher Hopper. What is it with steampunk novels that don't get sequels? I've been waiting for the second Sky Riders book since 2013 — and, I'll admit, I've pretty much given up hope for a sequel. Now that Hopper's finally writing again, he's working on a sci-fi book that . . . ok, it looks interesting, but it's not a Sky Riders sequel. But this was one of my first introductions to steampunk, and it used to be one of my favorite books, I'd love to see it get some resolution, especially since it ends on a cliffhanger.

What books do you need sequels for immediately (or at least in the very near future)? Please tell me in the comments! Also, have you read The Aeronaut's Windlass, and if so, who's your favorite character? Thoughts on the book in general?
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Friday, March 1, 2019

February 2019 Doings!

Ok, all the stuff I said about February being a horrible month? I was wrong. February was a very good month (with the exception of a few days). It was also a very busy month, so I'm kind of glad it's done . . . not that it's going to get any easier from here on out.


  • I spent most of the month working on the fourth round of edits on Mechanical Heart, which ended up being more extensive than I expected. My beta readers made some excellent points about pacing and character dynamics that mean completely rewriting several more chapters than I expected. Of course, completely rewriting things takes longer than regular editing, so I'm only about halfway through the story instead of all the way through.
  • That said, I'm really excited about the results of the edits I've done so far, and I think that the story as a whole will be much better for the changes. And I get to annoy Josiah and write a really fun female friendship at the same time as a result, so that's exciting.
  • (For the record: Josiah needs to be annoyed more. He had it far too easy in the previous versions of the novel. Also, he's just a generally dramatic sort of guy and that comes out very strongly when he's annoyed.)


  • I don't know if it was a self-defense mechanism against all my stress this month or the fact that I've felt like I'm starving for good books or just the fact that I found a lot of really good reads, but February was an amazing month for reading. It can be pretty easily divided into two halves: pre-Blind Date and post-Blind Date.
  • Pre-Blind Date was mostly defined by one author: W.R. Gingell. I tried Masque on a whim; I'd just finished the latest Invisible Library books and needed another fantasy mystery (ideally, fantasy murder mystery). I happened to remember Masque and figured, hey, it probably won't be as good as the Invisible Library books, but it's a fairy tale retelling and a murder mystery, so it can't be that bad.
  • Surprise: It was as good as the Invisible Library books. Not a surprise: by the time I finished, I was officially addicted to both fantasy mysteries and W.R. Gingell's books. I mean, the Two Monarchies series is basically what would happen if you combined that series with a Diana Wynne Jones book and I am in love.
  • So, yeah. I devoured Masque, which is arguably my new favorite retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I mean, you can't go wrong with murder to drive a plot, and the protagonist is delightfully sneaky and clever — plus, she's 28 and happily unmarried when the book starts, and she isn't particularly interested in changing that but also isn't angsty about the fact that she does inevitably fall in love. And the magic system is fascinating; it hits a sweet spot between technical/scientific and fairy tale-like that I didn't even know existed. And the world is highly interesting; you don't see a lot of fantasy worlds where magic is normal. Also, there's politics. I love politics in fantasy. And the love interest is pretty cool.
  • All that put together, it should be no surprise that I proceeded to devour the other Two Monarchies book that I already owned, Spindle, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. That one was also very good, but in a different way. No murder here, but still mystery and politics and a couple whose relationship dynamics, combined with the world, reminded me of Howl's Moving Castle. Like, I've never read another book that I could honestly compare to Howl — except this one.
  • So, obviously, I had to read the rest of the series . . . which I didn't own. Surprise: I bought all the Two Monarchies books, plus the random spinoff. (This actually is a surprise; I almost never buy eBooks unless they're free or $0.99 unless I really like the author, but I paid full price for these. And I would've bought all her other books too, but I ran out of spending money.) Blackfoot wasn't quite as good as Spindle or Masque, but Staff and Crown was utterly delightful. (Annabel is at her best when she's got Isabelle by her side, plus we had Melchior and a boarding school full of noble and upper-class girls, and someone's sneaking about plotting things, and there was intrigue and sneakery and explosions. What more could you want?) And Wolfskin, the spinoff, was excellent too. It had a very different feel, and I'm not 100% satisfied with the ending, but the mystery was excellent.
  • I had two other Gingell books already on my Kindle: Twelve Days of Faerie (a fun mystery involving fae; not my favorite of Gingell's books but still fun) and A Time Traveler's Best Friend (kind of confusing and weird, but not bad). And after that, I had to console my soul by reading Pratchett — specifically, Night Watch, which is also time travel but much less confusing. It was pretty cool to see what characters were like before we met them at the series start. Also, you can't go wrong with Vimes.
  • And as soon as I finished that, it was Blind Date with a Book time!
  • This is my best year yet for Blind Date books. I had a grand total of seven 'dates', and I was pretty satisfied with all of them. Here's the rundown!
  • VIRTUAL REALITY, GAMING, and CYBERCRIME: Warcross (Marie Lu). I really enjoyed this one! It was less predictable than I expected and much more colorful than most sci-fi novels I read. Plus, SAO has made me a sucker for virtual reality game stories. My one complaint is that the romance moved much faster than I liked. It was a really nice slow burn for a while, and then — boom. They're kissing. Oh well.
  • EPIC TEEN ADVENTURES, MAGIC, and MYSTERIES: The Rithmatist (Brandon Sanderson). This was one of three rereads and definitely my favorite of those three. I think I've probably read The Rithmatist more than any other Sanderson book at this point. Not that I'm complaining; it's a good book!
  • ABSURDITY, ALIENS, and QUIRKY TECHNOLOGY: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams). Another reread. I tried this one a couple years ago and found it depressing, but a lot of my friends love the series. I hoped that maybe I'd enjoy it more now since I knew it wasn't basically sci-fi Discworld, but . . . no such luck. It's still depressing and nihilistic.
  • FANTASY, LOST MEMORIES, and SACRIFICE: The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman). This is my first Gaiman, and I really enjoyed it. It was a little bit weird and a little bit creepy, but I'm not complaining about that. I loved the way that myths were quietly intertwined with the story, and the general feel of the book . . . it's like if someone wove a Diana Wynne Jones book and A Wrinkle in Time into one story, and it's beautiful.
  • MONSTERS, TIME TRAVEL, and SPECIAL POWERS: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs). Ugh. I saw the description and thought storms yes, but now that I've finished it, I am intensely disappointed. This is the book you'd get if you combined the most cliche YA contemporary fantasy novel in existence with those Aggressively Realistic contemporary books I was semi-forced to read as a kid. (They were all set in the South, all featured relatively poor characters who were generally miserable, and were supposed to be Deep and Significant but were mostly just depressing. I'm pretty sure they were trying to be modern To Kill a Mockingbirds or Flannery O'Connor stories, but they failed miserably.) It was boring, it was annoying, and it was cliche. It could've been amazing, but it failed me. I definitely will not be back for the rest of the series.
  • MAGICAL VISITORS, CHILDHOOD ADVENTURES, and SURPRISE: Mary Poppins (P.L. Travers). I haven't read this book in so long. It used to be one of my favorites, and I enjoyed revisiting the stories. I will confess that Mary seemed a lot grumpier than I remembered, and the writing style is definitely aimed at younger kids . . . but some of the magic is still there.
  • FRIENDSHIP, SPACE & TIME, and CONSPIRACIES: Twinmaker (Sean Williams). This is the only book I read about which I had no prior knowledge regarding the author or story. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't amazing. A lot of the ideas were interesting, and I think the author did a fairly good job with the worldbuilding. Unfortunately, the plot and characters were kind of predictable. I enjoyed it, but I don't think I'm going to read the sequel.


  • The number one thing I learned this month? I am not a fan of "art" pieces when it comes to television and movies. It's not that there's anything wrong with them, but I have very low patience for TV and movies in general. (Part of the reason is probably that I'm stuck if I watch something long, as opposed to reading a long book, which can be done in bits and pieces over the course of a day, week, or month.) So, when I end up watching a movie that's the cinematic equivalent of a highbrow literary novel — all introspection and silence and obscure metaphor and symbolism and confusion — I end up bored and frustrated rather than stimulated. Watching them when you're running a fever and probably should be in bed doesn't help matters.
  • All that to say: the Studio Ghibli film The Red Turtle is a beautiful film full of metaphors that I don't think I understood. And the middle 90 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey are excellent and suspenseful and thought-provoking (if slow), but the beginning was odd, and the end made no sense at all. And you can call me uncultured all you like, but I don't think you should have to confuse and bore the audience to create a story — whether on the page or the screen — that's deep enough and meaningful enough and full of enough symbolism to be considered art. Art doesn't cease to be art simply because it's accessible.
  • Much more pleasant was Cedarville's winter play: Agatha Christie's Appointment With Death. The first half was a bit frustrating because it was so much character buildup and I kind of wanted to get to the murder already. The actors all played their characters well, and I understand why they needed so much time to set up characters' motivations and personalities and so forth. The second half was excellent, though, and the answer to the whudunnit made sense.
  • And the Honors org put together a Princess Bride movie night for Valentine's Day. It was awesome. We watched the movie and then our philosophy prof (who is every Honors student's favorite professor) talked about love and relationships and whether or not true love is a thing and whether or not it's really wise to marry a pirate. It was a good time.
  • Outside of those four things, I didn't watch a whole lot. We managed a few more episodes of Doctor Who; I'm enjoying Tennant a bit more than I was when he first showed up. Also, I met K9, so that was fabulous. (And also Sarah Jane Smith — that was interesting, seeing a current and former companion interact with each other and the Doctor.) And the roomie and I are slowly making our way back into Fairy Tail. Sadly, the amount of writing I needed to do (and the number of events I had) cut severely into our watching time.


  • The highlight of the month was definitely the weekend before Valentine's Day. My family came up — not primarily for me; there were events that my sister needed to be at, but we still got to spend time together on Sunday and Tuesday.
  • Also on Tuesday was the second-best Cedarville chapel event of my life: Andrew Peterson speaking in chapel! He played a few of his songs from Resurrection Letters, and he read us the first chapter of his upcoming book on writing. It was fabulous. And then that evening he did a concert, which was amazing. He played a lot of my favorites and shared some of the stories behind the songs, and it was just beautiful. Plus I had a really good time trying to guess which songs were coming up based on his descriptions; I only guessed wrong once. (I though he was going to sing "After All These Years" or maybe "You Came So Close," but instead it was "Every Star Is a Burning Flame.")
  • Now, you may be wondering "Why is Andrew Peterson in chapel only the second-best chapel of your life, Sarah? That sounds pretty amazing." The reason is: he was actually in chapel twice, and the second time was better. It was less serious, more fun, and he played some of his less-well-known songs. I'm going to suggest you actually go watch it. It's a little under an hour, but it's super fun, and something happens at the end that couldn't have been better if it had been planned.
  • And I got to go to a Q&A with him after chapel, which was cool. Sadly, I didn't get to ask any of my questions — all the music majors got their hands up first. But it was still cool to hear what he had to say on some of the topics.
  • In non-Andrew-Peterson-related news . . . Um. Honestly, I've covered most of it. I went to plays and movies. I saw Andrew Peterson (and got a CD signed by him, which was great!). I read copious amounts of fiction. I didn't have to spend much time arguing with Captivate, and my group projects are all going very smoothly — except one, but that one's not our fault. We had a survey that we needed sent out to the whole school, and we did what we were supposed to do to make that happen, but the person sending it apparently just forgot for a week solid. We're rather annoyed about that.
  • Oh! We did have a snow day pretty early in the month! That was exciting, and it was nice to have a day off of classes. The only problem was that all the meetings that were supposed to happen that day got rescheduled to Thursday, as did a meeting that was supposed to happen on the weekend (and for which I needed to put something together in the computer lab), so that was stressful. I'm pretty sure I ended up with the same amount of stress for those two days that I normally would've had; it was just all condensed into Thursday instead of being split between the two.
  • The last thing that happened this month was Sing, Dance, Laugh, a show put on by the Inversions (an acapella group), AYO (the dance org whose showcases I LOVE), and DTR (an improv comedy group). It was pretty fabulous; they made fun of millenials, lip-synced to the Bellybutton Song and "Let's Get Down To Business" (the latter of which involved a joke about the philosophy prof I mentioned earlier), and generally had a good time on stage — which meant those of us in the audience had fun too.

March Plans!

  • I'm on spring break! Almost! I have a couple classes still today, but once those are done, I'm free! I had a hard time finding a ride home, which was frustrating, but I did get it worked out. So, pretty soon, I'll be back in VA!
  • I don't have any particular plans, but I know I have a lot of writing to do. I need to get as much as I can done on Mechanical Heart, and I want to see if I can put together a D&D one-shot for some friends of mine on the hall who are kind of interested in D&D but aren't certain enough to commit to a full campaign. I have the skeleton of the adventure already; I'm adapting a forum roleplay plot that I created earlier this fall (and which is progressing very slowly). I'm well aware that I'm not super experienced with D&D, so I'm a little nervous, but I figure that my friends will be pretty forgiving — and I know how to tell a good story, so all I have to do is work out the mechanics. That shouldn't be too hard.
  • I do have class projects that I'll need to work on, but not as many as I've had some years. Several of my projects I can't really do anything with off-campus. I do want to get ahead in Web Design if I can, but we'll see if my internet cooperates.
  • I also have to figure out my schedule for next semester, so that's stressful. Actually, it probably won't be too bad; I'll be a senior, so I just have to figure out which of the classes I still need are offered in fall and which are offered in spring and sort it out from there. I just hope that Advanced Comp with the professor I want doesn't conflict with a graphic design class again. It will be super weird, though; I'll only have one actual PWID class; everything else will be Honors, Graphic Design, or PWID electives (which are all run by other majors or departments).
  • I'll also be working on designing a website for my church here in Cedarville, and I'm super excited about that. I'm meeting with him later this morning to talk about what he's thinking and hosting options and content and so forth. (I was supposed to meet with him on Tuesday, but that got delayed . . . oh well.)
  • And, of course, there will be reading. Probably not as much as there was this past month, but you never know . . .
How was your February? Was yours as non-blah as mine? Any fun plans for March?
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)