Friday, May 6, 2022

April 2022 Doings!

April has, unsurprisingly, flown right by, and here we are in May already. I think you all already know what the month's main events were (one of them was pretty hard to miss if you follow me anywhere online), but we'll get on with the Doings all the same.


  • Mask of Scarlet is officially published and out in the world! Huzzah! We did have a little delay on Kindle Unlimited availability due to my forgetting to click the "make available in KU" button, but otherwise, the release went pretty well. Many thanks to everyone who participated!
  • Other than Mask of Scarlet release stuff, my main writing project was starting the rewrite/first edit of Through a Shattered Glass (formerly known as the Super Secret Mystery Project). This has been going a bit slower than anticipated — I had a couple busy weeks when I didn't get to do as much as I wanted. But in general, it's coming along well, and the fact that I'm working with a much more extended timeline than usual means I can get in an extra round of feedback, which I'm happy about.
  • I also did some work on the current module of the Defenders of Serys D&D campaign I'm running, though we missed several weeks this month, which meant I didn't have to do too much. (The current adventure also has too many possible path branches for me to prep too far in advance.)
  • In general, stuff was pretty quiet on the writing front, but that's fine — it's always nice to have a more restful month.


  • Well, this was a better reading month than March was.
  • Unsurprisingly, this month included a lot of ARCs. I've already posted my thoughts on most of those, but I'll provide a quick recap:
    • Tall & Dark was a delightful con/mystery adventure followup to Miss Sharp's Monsters. Highlights included the same memoir-ish style as Miss Sharp, the same dark and exciting world full of monstrous royalty, a new and clever MC, and a return of Grand Duke Vasily (who is having, just, the worst succession of bad days). I reviewed this at the start of the month.
    • My Soul to Take is the third of Bryan Davis's Oculus Gate series. It's a worldhopping Davis book, so obviously I enjoyed it — read the rest of my thoughts here.
    • Crown and Cinder and Cindy Ellen were my fellow Midnight Curfews books, and I enjoyed both very much! Crown and Cinder is a blend of Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella that just works wonderfully well (my thoughts), and Cindy Ellen is a short and sweet Old West Cinderella story (again, my thoughts here).
    • Search for the Astral Dragon is the only ARC here that I haven't already posted about — that's coming next week. In the meantime, I can say that it's a thrilling space adventure that I definitely recommend picking up.
  • Outside of ARCs, we have a nice assortment of stories. I did finally finish Raising Steam, though it took me pretty much all month (reading between ARCs and due library books). I stand by what I said earlier — it's a good story, but it's not a great Discworld novel. It lacks the usual spark, and I think it's largely because no one is an underdog anymore. At this point, I only have one book left in the series (well, plus Small Gods, which I may or may not read), and I'm hoping very hard that it doesn't suffer from the same problem.
  • On a more cheerful note: Every Living Thing is the final James Herriot memoir, and it's just as lovely as the others. This one deals a great deal with Herriot's family and with the new assistants who come through the practice, which was fun. Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 4 was exciting, though I kind of can't believe that I didn't see a particular twist coming. Finally, Leading Edge is an anthology that contained a couple ok stories (interesting premises, but too open-ended for me) and one really delightful story about fae magic and goblin markets and true love. It's a pretty cheap ebook, and I'd recommend picking it up just for that one story.


  • Aaaaand we're back to the watching-stuff slump, probably because I was too busy to spend much time on the treadmill or set aside work early enough to watch anything. I finished Critical Role Episode 8, watched a little bit more No Evil, and that's pretty much it.


  • . . . What the pumpernickel happened this month?
  • Outside of the book release, most of this month's activity centered around work and Holy Week . . . usually at the same time. Last year, the church was still in pandemic mode, so Easter was comparatively low-key. This year, we had a big Good Friday event in addition to services and promo graphics and regular weekly stuff, and . . . it was a lot.
  • And then I ended up getting hit hard by allergies and a little bit of a bug midway through Holy Week.
  • It was not a good time.
  • But everything got done that needed to be done! And I still got to go to Easter lunch with the Bible Study!
  • And I made a coconut cake, and it was delicious! It's a recipe from my former supervisor (the one who retired in January), and it was my first time trying it. I was a little nervous, but it turned out super well!
  • Other than Easter stuff . . . we spent two weekends working outside, one to cut and split a fallen tree into logs and one to split and stack all the wood we got from other fallen trees that we'd only cut into sections. That was, y'know, a lot. I'm just the person carrying things, and I was tired.
  • I ended the month with another cake, this one chocolate with chocolate icing. Mostly by accident, I ended up making it on the day of Mask of Scarlet's release. (I mostly made it for dessert at Bible study that evening.) It was also very tasty, though putting sprinkles on it was a mistake because they kind of . . . went everywhere.
  • I did not do very well with walking on the treadmill, nor did I figure out a stretching routine like I intended. I did start working on another goal, though, which is learning (via YouTube) some popular line dances. I'm hoping that, by the time September rolls around and I have another wedding to go to, I'll be able to actually participate in some of the dancing rather than just sitting on the sidelines.

May Plans

  • The most exciting bits of May are happening at the same time: my sister coming home from college for the summer and our Bible study's yearly retreat. I'm honestly not sure which I'm more excited about.
  • I intend to finish the first edit of Through a Shattered Glass by the end of the month — maybe a second round of edits as well, if things go extraordinarily well.
  • I also really need to figure out what's happening with the TaSG cover. Which probably means biting the bullet and hiring someone to make it, because once you factor in the cost of stock art, it's a pretty reasonably priced option. I'm just procrastinating because my favorite cover designer isn't available.
  • At work, I think May will end up being the Month of Signage . . . unless stuff keeps getting delayed, which is entirely possible. It will, if nothing else, probably be fairly quiet since we sorta dropped the summer newsletter that would normally be taking up a lot of time. (In theory, this means that I should also take the month to update all my how-to-do-this-job documentation and maybe print a copy so that other people can reference it. Will I actually do that? Who knows.)
  • One solid plan I do have is that I'm going to participate in Bryan Davis's big 20-years-of-authordom celebration contest! Which means y'all will be seeing a fair bit about Davis's books on my blog and social media accounts. (Don't worry; I will intersperse it with non-Davis-related stuff.)
  • This also means that I want to finish rereading Oracles of Fire so I can write the "rereading DiOM/OoF" blog post that I've been planning for months. I should probably get back to finishing up my series rereads in general, honestly . . .
  • I also want to work on crafting projects! Specifically, cosplay-related stuff for Realm Makers! My plan is to do more low-key cosplays three days (which will have a base of primarily items that I either already have in my closet or can wear as normal clothes in addition to in a cosplay), plus a "centerpiece" outfit for the Awards Banquet. I am very excited, and I'm trying to manage my expectations, but . . . yeah. I have gotten very few opportunities in my life to cosplay, so I like taking advantage of the opportunities I do get, especially because I've been watching a fair number of Morgan Donner videos in the last year.

How was your April? Any exciting plans for May? Did you pick up any of the Midnight Curfews releases? What's your favorite cake (to make or to eat)? Do you enjoy cosplay? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


  1. Sprinkles are Trouble xD My family likes chocolate zucchini cake - it's pretty moist and rich. Coconut is definitely a lovely cake!

    Opportunities for cosplay seem to generally be infrequent, so definitely throw yourself into that! (I haven't done much myself - the biggest would probably be the time I got a fez for an Eleventh Doctor costume. xD) Is your centerpiece outfit for a certain character, or around a certain theme?

    Tall & Dark is a very pretty looking cover! And Crown and Cinder's concept of blending Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice sounds intriguing... I'll have to read your reviews!

    1. Oooh, yes, zucchini cake! We don't make that one as often because zucchini in our house doesn't tend to last long enough to end up in cake, but it's also very good.

      My centerpiece outfit will be for a particular character (though I'm not saying who it is until I'm further along and I know the cosplay is going to turn out ok).

      Splendid! Hopefully they convince you to read the actual books as well!


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