Friday, November 1, 2019

October 2019 Doings!

Hello, everyone! So, October. It's been a crazy month, let me tell you. I mean, that is the whole point of this Doings! post, but yeah.

(Also, I just got back from a Halloween party about an hour before I finished this post, and I'm still so hyped. Tired, but hyped. It was amazing. But more on that later!)


  • So, there's good news and there's bad news.
  • And the bad news is that Blood in the Earth/Soil is most likely going to be delayed because I've barely had time and energy to work on it at all this month.
  • I'm keeping up with creative nonfic all right . . .
  • And I'm keeping up with D&D all right . . .
  • But once I get through the week-to-week deadlines and my schoolwork and my various social commitments, there's not much energy left over for Eun-Ji, Azuma, Baili, Gan, Chouko, Xiang, and company. And I wish there was, and I hate that this is the spot I'm in, but I'm not sure what to do about it.
  • (And I just added one more thing to my workload . . . but more on that later.)
  • The good news, at least for me, is that my D&D campaign is still going well. Everyone seems to be having fun, and I think I've found a good balance between the plot of the week and the overarching storyline. And I've been able to introduce several NPCs who I really like (including one who's showing up tonight), so that's fun.
  • (I also learned the importance of testing NPC names for possibly unfavorable mispronunciations — case in point, one of the NPCs last session was named Morin, and some of the players insisted on mispronouncing his name as "Moron." Oops.)
  • The other good news is that next semester should be much less stressful, and hopefully, I'll be able to dedicate a lot more time to writing, which could mean extra stuff releasing to make up for the delay? But we'll see how that works out . . .


  • This was another light reading month, unsurprisingly.
  • I did finish Northanger Abbey at last . . . and was not really impressed. The more I interact with Austen's books, the more I think that I'm not really an Austen fan; I'm a Pride and Prejudice fan. That said, there are a couple Austen books I haven't tried yet, so maybe I just don't jive with what I've read so far.
  • I also reread Masque because I needed something to read and couldn't get at Prince of Stars, Son of Fate, plus you can't really go wrong with a Beauty and the Beast murder mystery. I have exactly 0 regrets, and it was honestly an excellent destresser.
  • The last complete book I read this month was Ghostlight, another sort of magical mystery. It was interesting, but not my favorite thing I've ever read. I may read the sequel, but it's hard to say for sure.
  • Finally, I'm currently reading the Thing Explainer, another Randall Munroe book. I feel a little weird whenever I'm reading it because it sometimes kind of feels like a kids' book, even though it's not a kids' book, and I can't help feeling guilty that I'm not reading something more sophisticated. On the other hand, I am enjoying it and I'm learning things, so I'm not about to stop reading it.


  • My roommate and I finished Season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago. You can check out my season thoughts post if you missed it and are interested in reading my overall reactions as someone who knows a ton of spoilers and basically loved the show before she started watching it.
  • We intended to watch a bunch of stuff (mostly Disney movies) over Fall Break, but that . . . didn't happen. I'm ok with that, except for the fact that we were going to watch Aladdin (the original, which I've never actually seen) and I was going to knit a bunch and I was kind of disappointed by the lack of both those things. But we played a ton of board games instead, so . . . worth it.
  • And my roommate and I are endeavoring to pick Sword Art Online back up. We kind of skimmed past the Gun Gale Online arc because my roommate doesn't like most of it that much and I was . . . not super enthusiastic about the idea of watching it. As I mentioned to a friend of mine, Sword Art Online is kind of like the DC Dark Knight trilogy, in that it's deep and intellectual and thoughtful and people tell me it's really good and I should definitely watch it, and I want to take their advice . . . but it's also heavy and dark and doesn't have a ton of joy or humor to balance that out, and so even though I theoretically want to watch it, in practice, I avoid every opportunity I get to do so.
  • But, as I said, we're past the GGO arc; we picked the episodes that my roommate liked best and watched those; I got a recap of the rest of the arc from her, and now we can move on to the remaining mini-arcs! Which I'm excited about!


I painted a pumpkin for a contest hosted by my campus bookstore. (It didn't win.)
  • So, there are four main highlights of this past October: Parents' Weekend, fall break, academic decision crisis, and Halloween.
  • We will start with the chronological first of those items: Parents' Weekend. This is also the easiest one to tell: the first weekend in October was Homecoming/Parents' Weekend, and my parents came up because it's my last year and my sister's first year and both of those are significant. Also, my sister was part of one of the Cardboard Canoe Race teams, so they wanted to support her in that, even though she wasn't actually in the boat. (Her boat did not win, but they did make it across without sinking, so all is well.) Getting to see them was super fun, and we got to go out to eat at Cheddar's, which is always a win.
  • That weekend, I also went to Cedarville's production of A Comedy of Errors, which I enjoyed (though not as much as some of the other plays I've seen). The actors all did a very good job, and of course, Shakespeare is always great. Some of the mistaken identity humor did get old after a while, but overall it was good.
  • After that, it was a fairly quiet-but-busy two weeks until . . .
  • The academic decision crisis . . . which wasn't really much of a crisis, more of an opportunity that I had to decide whether or not to take. See, between the classes I've taken and the classes I plan to take, I'm only one class away from a web design minor, and it was bugging me . . . but I didn't think I could do anything about it because the class I needed was only offered in the fall semester, aka now, and I'm not sticking around an extra semester just to take one class. But my advisor encouraged me to email the professor in charge of the design department and ask if I could switch out the class for something else, so I did, expecting the answer to be no.
    • The answer was not no.
    • The answer was "I've talked to the professor who runs the class, and he remembers you from Web Design 1 and because he remembers you doing well in that class and really enjoying that class, he's willing to let you take this class as an independent study. But you have to start this semester, not next semester when you currently have a lighter workload."
    • So. That sparked a lot of debate and reassessing my plans and calling my parents and trying to figure out if the independent study is doable -- which I've decided it is, but only if I cut down on some non-class activities.
    • Thus why Blood in the Earth/Soil is being delayed.
  • In the middle of all that was fall break, which was, honestly, delightful. Once again, I went to my roommate's house . . . but this year, we had my sister and her roommate along for the ride. That turned out to be really fun, as it meant we played a ton of board games.
    • A few of the board game highlights: multiple games of "Sentinels of the Multiverse" (in which I confirmed that my ideal playstyle is not support), two rounds of "Escape the Temple" (fun, but easily the most stressful game I've ever played, and not the best thing for when you're trying not to have a cold), and two games of "Mysterium" (including one in which I played as the ghost and learned that I like that much more than playing as a normal player -- it's a great game, but I get frustrated when I'm trying to work through the clues I'm given and everyone else is talking around me and telling me what I should think).
    • My sister and I also went to the Columbus Zoo with our aunt, which was really fun. We got to ride a camel (I can definitely tell why they're called ships of the desert) and we saw absolutely adorable arctic foxes!!! They were so white and pretty and fluffy and were basically my favorite part. The cheetahs were pretty cool as well, though.
  • Then we got back, I had a super stressful week in which I had to do aaaaalllllllll the graphic design, and then reached this week. Which, of course, is Halloween!
    • To make it clear, I am excited about Halloween solely because it's an opportunity to dress up, not for any other reason. I have no interest in the spooky side of the holiday.
    • But, yeah. I basically managed to have Halloween events every night of Halloween week except Monday, which meant I got to wear all the costumes!
Me in my dragon keeper Halloween costume. 
    • Tuesday: PWID Halloween party. I dressed up as a dragon keeper from the DragonKeeper Chronicles. As usual, no one knew what I was. As usual, I did not win. But I got to walk around with a sword on my hip and a dragon on my shoulder, and I got to eat cinnamon pretzels and caramels, and I got to meet my professor's baby, so I call the evening a success.
    • Wednesday: Inklings creative writing org, with costumes welcome. I thought about trying to be a Jedi this evening, but stuff didn't work out, so I went back to the classic assassin look. (Specifically, I was a Shadowwalker assassin from one of my to-be-eventually-published books, but I didn't advertise the specifics.)
    • Thursday, daytime: So I didn't exactly dress up, but I went with a sort of low-key Jedi-ish look and carried my lightsaber around in my backpack pocket, so I count that. Speaking of which, I have a lightsaber now. Like my sword, it's 3D printed. I still need to paint details on the hilt, but that's only going to be a little bit of work, and it wasn't significant enough that I felt the need to get it done before Halloween.
    • Thursday evening: Orion Halloween Hogwarts party! My roommate and I went to this together, and it was SO MUCH FUN. I did a whole post about the event over on Facebook and Instagram (pick the one you like better), so I'm not going to recap all the details here. That said, it was so much fun, I ate a ton of good food (including Orion's version of fever fudge, which is DELICIOUS and AMAZING), and I got to dress up AGAIN. This time, I was a Hogwarts alum who works with dragons. It was probably my most comfortable costume of the week (with the exception of my low-key Jedi one), but also had the most small fun details. And I got a Hogwarts letter! Which was awesome!
    • Friday evening: AKA tonight, AKA a time that has not occurred as of the writing and publishing of this post. But I've invited people in my D&D group to dress up, and I'm planning on wearing my capelet at least and having my dragon on my shoulder, so it will be a good time.
  • Outside of those three things, most of October has been occupied by schoolwork, mostly graphic design. I'm currently in a group project in one of those classes, and it is not my favorite thing, but it's the only group project of the semester, so I'll deal with it.

November Plans!

  • So, you may be asking "Sarah, if you're delaying your WIP and taking this independent study, will you still have time for NaNoWriMo?" And the answer is . . . not really. But I'm doing it anyway with a rebel goal of one creative nonfic piece and one D&D episode written and edited per week. Aka, I'm doing the stuff I need to do anyway, but at a slightly faster rate. And then if I have time around those things, I'll work on my WIP as well.
  • On a side note, if you have been able to find the NaNoWriMo banners and profile things, please point me in their direction, 'cause I'm kind of lost on the new site.
  • The other part of the main November plan is "do all the graphic and web design."
  • Seriously, though, basically every weekend in November is going to be occupied primarily with my independent study. It's going to be great (I say only slightly sarcastically; I am really excited for this class).
  • In my spare time (such as it is), I hope that my roommate and I will be able to keep watching either Avatar or Sword Art Online; I'd like to finish a season of something by the end of the semester. We'll see how that works out.
  • I am planning to go home for Thanksgiving break, which I look forward to. I miss being home. This will also be my and my sister's first drive of that length when we're not following our parents, so that's going to be exciting and mildly nerve-wracking. I'm hoping that we can leave super early Wednesday morning so I don't have to drive most of the way in the dark. We'll see how that works out.
  • Also, there's a chance that the TDK Christmas party will end up being before Thanksgiving, and I am not happy about that. I have strong feelings about when Christmas is meant to be (AKA, only after Thanksgiving) and I hold to those feelings with a significant enough conviction that I will have an actual crisis of conscience if the party is before then. I'm an officer, so I have to go, but . . . yeah.
How was your October? What plans do you have for November? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? When do you think the proper time for Christmas celebrations and decorations is? And did you dress up for Halloween this year? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. I have not been on the NaNo site in YEARS, and it keeps glitching on me, so this is going to be a fun month. ;P I have not seen any banner stuff, though. Btw, if you want to add me as a buddy, I'm guardianofthebookshelf.

    That's so great that you were able to add that minor, even if it's causing a bunch of plan changes and stress.

    1. Yeah, they're definitely still working out the bugs with the NaNo site. I've dealt with worse, though. :P And thanks, I will!

      Yep! I think it will be worth all that in the end.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. That pumpkin is fantastic and all the costumes too!

  3. Definitely love your blog, so inspiring.I am Following now!


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.