Friday, July 1, 2022

June 2022 Doings!

Hello, y'all! June is ended, July is here, and I have another month's worth of Doings to report! But first, a quick bit of housekeeping: I'll be taking a blogging break for most of the month of July, both because I want the extra bit of attention to focus on Bastian Dennel, PI #4 and because Realm Makers, writing, work, and family stuff mean I'll likely be pretty busy. I will still post my Mid-Year Book Celebration/Book Roundup next Friday as usual, and I'll be on the socials, but otherwise, things will be quiet for the month. I haven't yet decided what to do about the On the Taleweaver's Desk update, but I may push it off until early August, since it would normally go up the same weekend as Realm Makers. We'll see.


  • Writing-wise, this month's focus has mostly been on Bastian Dennel, PI #4, which is currently title-less. In contrast to Through a Shattered Glass, which I wrote very rapidly, this one is coming along quite slowly. I spent almost a week working through the initial outline until I got stuck, at which point I decided — y'know what? I know who did the murder. I know why they did it. I know what clues I need to lay and some red herrings to slip in. Let's just get this story started.
  • (Realistically, I think this was the best option. The problem was one that wouldn't be easy to solve without knowing the story better than I did at the time, so hopefully things will come together once I get closer in the actual draft.)
  • On the Through a Shattered Glass front, the book went out to beta readers early in the month, and I've been slowly getting feedback from various people. I haven't really read most of that feedback because I've been focused on BDPI#4, but I look forward to doing so.
  • And on the D&D side of things, I did just enough prep to cover the two times we met over the course of the month, plus the start of our next session (whenever that ends up being). The first of those two sessions went about how I expected it. The second . . . well, I didn't really know how my players would react to the situation, but I don't think I was expecting what actually happened? In a good way, though. I also figured out how I think I want to approach large-scale combat, which is good, because that's coming up pretty quick.
  • Oh, and I got to have some fun designing author swag (business cards, stickers, and bookplates) in preparation for Realm Makers! That was exciting, though also stressful once I realized how expensive sticker singles can be. I eventually figured stuff out, though, and everything so far has looked very nice.


  • I expected that this would be a month full of rereads. That said, only about a third of them were the rereads I expected.
  • I started the month by finishing up my Jackaby reread. That went well, though I don't think I liked the second half of the series (the last book especially) as much on the reread as I did the first time around, particularly since I've grown more familiar with one of the central myths and am now annoyed at how Ritter handled said myth.
  • The other main rereads of the month were about half the Chronicles of Narnia, sparked by the fact that we watched the movie version of Prince Caspian and that made me want to read the actual book. And then I figured I might as well reread some of the other books that I've been thinking of revisiting . . . Lewis's style is a major shift from most of what I've been reading lately, but it's been fun to go back to these old favorites.
  • In between the rereads, we had three new-to-me books. The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm is a collection of short stories from the world of Algaesia, and it was . . . fine? To be honest, I feel like it's the least interesting out of everything I read this month.
  • The other two new reads are much more exciting and were both last-minute impulse reads. Free-Range Knitter was something I picked up on a whim at the library and ended up quite enjoying. It very much falls into the genre of "Unexpectedly popular 2000s blogger memoirs," but, hey, it was an enjoyable read, and it had some nice observations about knitting and life and people.
  • And then there's The Goblin Emperor, which abruptly shot up from somewhere in the depths of my TBR list after I saw a dozen-odd fanart pieces on a friend's social and realized that I needed to read this book immediately. It was, let me tell you, one of the best decisions I made all month, because this book is so good. It's not particularly fast-paced, and it's mostly concerned with the main character figuring out how to be emperor and navigate an unfamiliar and not particularly friendly court and grow into the person he's meant to be, and yet I stayed up long past midnight one night reading it. There's intrigue and mystery and occasional assassination attempts, but most of the book is very character-focused, and . . . I just love it, ok? Possibly because I really love the main character, Maia, who is an absolute sweetheart. He was never supposed to be emperor, but now that he is, he's trying his best to be a good one and to not repeat the mistakes of his predecessors. (I'm also very disappointed that there's not a true sequel — the other books in the world are about a side character and don't really have anything to do with this story.)
  • Oh, and I'm still reading Dracula via Dracula Daily . . . and I may have signed up for a bunch of similar serial story e-newsletters. I have no regrets, but I may when they all start at once in six months.


  • Glory hallelujah, we are done with the Reani episodes of Critical Role. I'm sorry; I recognize that the player was trying to do something interesting, but I just did not vibe with her. I am pleased with my decision to go back to Campaign 2 instead of pushing on with Campaign 3, though. It's been fun to be back with the Mighty Nein. I'm currently halfway through Episode 69, and I've enjoyed the last few episodes, particularly the developments with Fjord.
  • Aside from Critical Role, I watched a couple movies this month: a rewatch of Prince Caspian, as I already mentioned, and Jurassic Park, which I had never seen before except for clips and snippets. My roommate enjoys JP, though, so I was excited to see it. I liked it, though I did end up hiding behind a pillow during a few moments when I suspected there was going to be something particularly gorey on the screen. I can definitely see why it became such a cultural phenomenon.
  • I also started watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, though I'm only a couple episodes in. A friend helpfully pointed me towards the best place to watch it, and I'm trying to get through it in relatively quick fashion. It's nice to have something to watch where the commitment is 20 minutes plus ads instead of an hour or better. I will have to get used to the voices, though, as there's exactly one character who sounds like I imagined him. Colonel Mustang and Al are the two who throw me off the most, though. (You would think Mustang would be the one who I expected, since I knew Travis Willingham voiced him, but nope! Every time he says anything, I'm like "Wait. What? Oh, right." I'll get used to it, I suppose.)


  • The main themes of this month have been "Sarah makes stuff!" and "absolutely NOTHING happens when it's supposed to unless we paid in advance for it." It's fine.
  • I actually did a fair bit of baking this month. I started June with my first sourdough loaf using fresh herbs from the ones we planted in May, and that turned out very well, though I probably should've chopped the herbs a little smaller. Then, a bit later in the month, I gave focaccia a whirl and was pretty pleased with the result. (I also made some regular rolls, but, y'know, I've made those a dozen times before.)
  • I intended to get a lot of cosplay prep done in June as well. Unfortunately, that didn't go quite as well. I did finish my flowy-sleeved top (it's far from perfect, but it'll do what I want it to do), and I found a few of the other items I needed, but I didn't make as much progress on either dress as I wanted to. Apparently, purple is not an "in" color right now (so I haven't been able to find any purple dresses in stores, let alone ones with pockets), and I kept hitting a particular delay on the dress I'm making — specifically, I needed my sister to help me drape a pattern, and she was continually not available at the same time I could do work. On the upside, we did eventually resolve that, so I have a pattern. Now I just need to cut everything . . . and sew everything . . . and make adjustments . . . and embroider things . . . yeah. There's a lot left to do. At least this weekend is a long one.
  • One of the highlights of the month, though, was just last weekend, when my sister and I got together with a friend to do an escape room! This one was a little harder than the one we did last summer, but I actually feel like it went somewhat better — if nothing else, we got out with more time to spare, probably because everyone had at least a little experience with how these kinds of puzzles work.
  • At work, things have alternately been super quiet (because half the office is out) or comfortably busy. We have made progress on some of the big projects, though, so that's good. They're going slowly, but so do most things that involve change.
  • Oh! D&D news! The group I play in had our first really big boss fight, which was super exciting. We were taking on our warlock/fighter's patron (an aberrant dragon), which involved gathering reinforcements and traveling to another plane and all sorts of stuff. It was pretty epic, especially the final fight — especially since the boss ended up having, figuratively speaking, two health bars. But we survived! With minimal insanity! And leveled up twice! And we got our first-ever legendary item!
  • I think that about covers it. June was definitely a much quieter month than May, but you know? That's far from a bad thing.

July Plans

  • REALM MAKERS! We're now in the month of, and I am SO HYPED. There's still a lot left to do — cosplay prep, finishing up some of the swag that I didn't complete last month, figuring out some final logistics, figuring out if I need to pre-sign books (since Kendra E. Ardnek will be selling my books alongside hers) and so on — but it's going to be good. I'm excited to learn, but I'm arguably more looking forward to the opportunity to meet others in the writing/author community.
  • Most of my plans revolve around Realm Makers, but aside from it . . . we'll have family visiting midway through the month, which should be nice. I'm looking forward to that.
  • Work will probably continue to be quiet, since we'll have people out on either mission trips or vacation.
  • Writing-wise, I'll be splitting my time between Through a Shattered Glass edits and Bastian Dennel, PI #4 drafting. I don't know yet what that split will look like, but I'll figure it out once I see how much editing needs to be done.
  • And on the reading front, most of my book choices will probably be influenced by the various adult summer reading programs I'm doing through local library systems. At the moment, I'm attempting to essentially do three challenges (two systems, two variations within one of those systems) with no overlap, but I may put in some retroactive overlap if we get towards the end of the summer and it looks like I'm not going to make one or more of them.
  • That seems to be everything. There may be something I'm forgetting about, but if there is, oh well. I'll remember it tomorrow night, probably.

How was your June? Any exciting plans for July? Will you be at Realm Makers (either virtually or in person)? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


  1. You're going to Realm Makers as an author?? That's so exciting!! It sounds like a lot of work organising logistics (and merch?? so cool!), but I'm sure it will be worth it! (Maybe one year I will come across the Pacific xD)

    I've never heard of The Goblin Emperor, but it sounds intriguing!

    1. I'm going to Realm Makers, and I am an author, so . . . yes? I won't have a table of my own, but Kendra will be handling sales of my books, and I'll have stuff to hand out to people who want it. Wish you could be there!

      It's SO GOOD and you should read it.


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