Friday, June 3, 2022

May 2022 Doings!

Hello hello hello! I am, at the moment of writing this, quite tired (for reasons unknown), and as per the usual, I have no idea where this month went. But I shall do my best in this post to figure out the answer to that very question.


  • I spent most of the month doing the first rewrite/edit of Through a Shattered Glass, which went well. This book is on a very extended timeline, which means I get to test different feedback configurations — namely, I had Wyn Owens (a good friend, fellow Arista Challenge author, and beta reader on most of my past books) alpha reading the book. That was super helpful in terms of keeping me motivated and having someone to talk through things with.
  • On a related note, I am looking for beta readers for Through a Shattered Glass. If you're interested, check out my post on it.
  • I also finished the front cover for Through a Shattered Glass! I was originally going to hire someone, but while procrastinating, I managed to find a picture that looked like my main character and fit the vibe, so I messed with it . . . and kept messing with it . . . and almost gave up and went back to the "hire someone" plan . . . and then went back to it one more time and figured out how to make it into something I quite like! So, you know, that's a relief.
  • On the D&D side of things, one of my campaigns didn't get to meet at all this month, but the one I run did get together for one session. The party spent most of the session talking to horses and setting up camp, but we had fun, and not having to worry about writing session material did mean more free time for working on TaSG.


  • Lots of rereads this month! I finished my Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire reread, which I posted about last week. And conversations with Wyn about (A) her WIP and (B) Welsh myth made me decide to reread The Dark King's Curse (even better the second time around! also I love Laisren so much) and the Jackaby series (also delightful; I'm currently about halfway through).
  • In between all that, my copies of Fullmetal Alchemist volumes 5–7 came due at the library, so I hastily read those before I had to return them. I'm still enjoying the series, and I really need to request the next several! (I'm also thinking of watching the show, though I need to figure out where/how to do that.)
  • And we have a couple miscellaneous reads. Dawnsong is a novella by Bryn Shutt, and it was fairly enjoyable. I'll probably pick up the rest of the series when it releases, as I'm curious about the characters. Stolen Midsummer Bride is a Midsummer Night's Dream retelling by Tara Grayce, and I was pretty excited about it . . . and then pretty disappointed in how it turned out. I didn't vibe with the characters and wasn't impressed with the author's treatment of fae. It wasn't bad? It just also really wasn't great. It's possible other people would like it more, though — romantic fantasy is not my primary subgenre!


  • So, I have more or less given up on Critical Role Campaign 3 for the moment and gone back to Campaign 2 — I miss Caleb and Jester and Fjord, and I don't have the same attachment to the new crew. I managed to get through C2 Episode 66 and halfway through Episode 67 — I've been looking forward to 67 for a while for several reasons. While I still don't love Reani, and I'll be glad when she's gone, it's nice to be back with the rest of the Mighty Nein.
  • Otherwise, I really haven't watched anything this month. Not really surprising.


  • Honestly, this has been a fun month, but also a very busy one — we've had something going on pretty much every weekend.
  • It started with two things I'd been looking forward to for a while: my sister getting home from college and our Bible study's retreat at White Sulphur Springs. Those actually happened at the same time — which is to say, my parents went straight from Ohio (where they were retrieving my sister) to WSS, where I met them after driving up on my own on Friday.
  • The retreat went quite well on the whole. It was nice to have some time to relax and time to spend with friends, though some of the other study families had to back out at the last minute. We spent a good bit of Saturday playing card and board games, which was delightful. And, of course, the food at WSS is pretty much always delicious.
  • The next weekend would've been fairly quiet . . . except that my sister and I found out that there was going to be a Viking Festival about twenty minutes from our house, and obviously we had to go check it out. As it turns out, "Viking Festival" translates as "very specifically themed mini Renaissance Festival," so we got to see a replica Viking longship, hear some Celtic music, and browse the various vendors. I may have spent a little more than I intended at those vendors . . . but the items I bought were all either practical (a new hairstick that will work a little better for the current state of my hair) or things I needed for Realm Makers cosplay, so it's fine.
  • The weekend after that was a little bit quieter, thankfully. But we did still have some excitement in the form of a cheese-and-board games party with a friend — I had bought a bunch of slightly fancy cheese (which is to say, not regular grocery store block cheeses) for a photograph earlier in the week, and I needed help to eat them. Whether or not the photograph was 50% an excuse to buy cheese remains a mystery . . . but the cheese was tasty, the games were fun, and some of my D&D group joined the final game of the evening via video chat, so it was a good time all round.
  • And that brings us up to Memorial Day weekend, when my family decided to go visit my grandpa. We'd originally planned to visit around Father's Day, but since that would have to be such a short trip, we decided to go up for the long weekend.

  • In between all this, I've been doing some crafting — not as much as intended because of all the other stuff, but still. To be specific, I attempted to make a flowy-sleeved top, which failed because I forgot to multiply the central measurement by two, and gave embroidery a whirl, which I consider to have been a success. I've done two samplers so far, one of which is shown above, covering most (if not all) of the major stitches, and I'm genuinely enjoying it! It also goes much faster than I expected, which is the opposite of most of the handcrafts I try, so, y'know, that's nice.
  • Work has been going about as usual — this is a quieter season, after the chaos of Lent and Easter but before summer programming starts up. (Also, big projects keep getting delayed because we had several weeks of either one pastor or the other being out of the office.) I did successfully update my how-to-do-my-job documentation, and I printed out a copy to keep at my desk, so if anything ever comes out where I have to be out on short notice, it'll be easier for someone else to temporarily pick up the essential tasks. (Not that I anticipate that happening . . . but after being out for most of a month last year, I don't want to take any risks.)
  • Oh, and I have finally embarked on a project that I've been intending to start for ages, which is revamping the playlists on my main music streaming app so they reflect my current taste in music and are a little more tailored than just dumping every album that's sort of a particular mood or genre onto a particular list.

June Plans

  • I expect that June will be a quieter month than May, but I really don't know.
  • My main writing goals for this month are to get Through a Shattered Glass out to beta readers (info here if you want to know more) and to start drafting the fourth Bastian Dennel, PI book. I've been looking into this installment in the BDPI cases for a fair while, and I'm excited to write it — I can't say too much yet, but it's going to be a murder mystery, and Bastian and Kona will be the main POV characters again.
  • I also plan to keep working on cosplay and other crafting projects. I want to retry the flowy-sleeved shirt with different fabric (and with correct measurements), plus I have a medieval-ish overdress and some props to make. I also need to find a purple dress with pockets somewhere, which is proving more difficult than anticipated. I need everything done in time for Realm Makers in June, so not much time to waste!
  • On the reading front, I don't really have many plans. I have some rereads that I want to continue (namely Jackaby and Legends of Karac Tor — and, ideally, The Great Hunt), and I need to read The Shepherd's Crown so I can officially finish with the Discworld series. But I don't have any ARCs at the moment, so mostly I can just mood read without guilt or pressure.
  • Otherwise . . . I don't think I have much planned? Yeah. Hopefully, it'll be a peaceful month.

How was your May? Any exciting plans for June? Have you done any fun rereads lately? How do you feel about sewing and embroidery? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

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