Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Recap

This month has been unexpectedly busy. But it's been good - I've read a few books, made some progress with my writing, gotten some financial mumbo-jumbo sorted out for starting college in August, and finished a Bible study on secrets. I'm feeling good about my productivity.
Also, it was announced this month that my primary online writing group, Go Teen Writers, is shutting down the Facebook group. I was pretty shocked about that - I've been part of it for over a year and it made me realize that there are other people out their who understand what it is like to love writing. I've gotten so many laughs and picked up on so much inspiration from that group - I'll be really sad to see it go. Thankfully several groups were started up independently by several members, so I've joined a few of those hoping to fill up the void.
Anyway, here is the recap of what's been going on around here in June.

Blog Happenings
I want to start by saying that for the last couple months, my post "Why Character Chats Are Awesome" has been a huge success. It's all over Pinterest and has over 1,500 views to date. Most of my other posts have been lucky to hit 100. But my first post this month, "Blurring the Lines: What Are Anti-Heroes and Anti-Villains?" has become my most popular post now - it is spreading on Pinterest and has even been linked to on what appears to be a popular tumblr blog. Which is awesome so thank you, everyone.
Also this month:

This month I read six novels:
I reviewed Legend, Words of Radiance, Resistance, and Golden Son in one post, The King's Scrolls and Challenger Deep in a second, Cinder in a third, and By Darkness Hid in a fourth (links to my reviews). 

And I added a few books to my bookshelf this month as well.
  • The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (I couldn't find it in my library but I really want to read it so I had to buy it)
  • The King's Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight (had to order online)
  • Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (thrift shop - I've never read anything by this author and I hear she's good, so I thought I'd give it a try)
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (thrift shop buy - I've read the series but have none of the books, so this can start my collection).
Also, I pre-ordered the e-book (don't particularly enjoy that format, but I had to in this case) Half Blood by Jaye L. Knight for the kindle app on my phone, so I can read that in July. Can't wait!
My favorite book of the month was probably Challenger Deep, with By Darkness Hid and Resistance tied for second. My least favorite? None of the books were bad, but The King's Scrolls took last place because of the lack of feeling it left me with.

While it's been a light reading month, I've been working heavily in Shadows and Light. I finished plotting Ace's character arc, and then I worked on getting it all matched up with Mara's . . . and that was giving me a headache. But I got all my plot points onto sticky notes and covered a decent portion of wall with them so that I could see it all together. Something about handwriting got me brainstorming ways to work around the problems I created for myself, so I actually managed to get it sorted out in time for July Camp NaNoWriMo . . . oh yeah, I signed up for that.
In addition to that, I've worked out the kinks in my chronology and decided to add a subtly allegorical theme to Shadows and Light, mostly in the Mage League, which I will probably rename. I'm going to be working out the details of that as I write, I think.
Also, not sure if this counts or not, but I spent some time drawing Tempe  this month, which was fun and gave me just the image I want of her. I also finally got to see Tempe and Mara side-by-side, which is incredible. I would not want to see that pair strolling down the street.
Both drawings by Annika Smith.

Related to no project, I found this on Pinterest and really want to write a high fantasy novel with a race of pointy-eared people in it. I even went so far as to create my first race of people based on this photo, complete with a little 2-page race profile. It doesn't have a story-home, though, and honestly I don't need another WIP . . . yet. Maybe I'll get to use it some day. 
Other Internet Happenings

Favorite Pins of the Month
Ahhhhh the plot bunnies.
So creepy . . . I want an excuse to write a scene in this setting.

What Is to Come
  • Aimee Meester @ To the Barricade! asked me to guest post for her in July! I'm so excited.
  • In return, she is guest-posting July 14th here, so be around for that.
  • I'm going to do a few posts on different cliches around here, so keep an eye out for those.
  • Don't be surprised if my Friday posts stop appearing once or twice during the upcoming month - if you wonder what I'm doing, I'll be furiously trying to achieve my word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm also not certain how much reading I'll actually get done, so we'll see about Sunday Book Reviews. Don't worry, I've got the Tuesday posts covered (mostly).
  • It was requested that I share pictures of my cats. I shall do this on a Friday post sometime this month, so be prepared for cuteness.
  • I also have a more rant-style post coming up, called "The Problem with Too Many Books." Don't worry, I'm still an avid book fan - and I think you'll all relate on this one.

Questions I Now Want You to Answer:
  1. Do you like all my book reviews of the week getting lumped into one post? Or would you prefer me to publish individual ones as soon as I write them throughout the week in addition to my other posts?
Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? What will you be working on for it? And ooh, have you read any of the books I mentioned? Have you ever created a whole big story or piece of world building just from seeing a picture? 


  1. So. Much. To. Comment. On. In. This. Post. Be prepared for a longish comment. xD
    First your question: Since I'm not a huge fan of reading book reviews, I liked the reviews lumped together so I can read them all in one bunch. I'm more likely to click the link to the blog post rather than skipping over it.
    This might be a stupid question, but how do you get all the books into that lovely shadow box thingamajig? Blogger is often annoying when trying to get all the individual pictures into the post, so I've been looking for an easier way. :p
    And oh my goodness. I had forgotten that you were so good at drawing! Seriously, that's amazing. I'm jealous. xD
    I've been seeing your posts circulate around Pinterest. That's a LOT of pageviews. So, congratulations on that! They deserved it. :)
    Thanks for mentioning my post! I really like your monthly recap posts.

    1. That actually wasn't as long as I thought it would be. :p

    2. Haha, good, I'm glad I'm doing it right. :D AND YES I JUST SAW IT AN HOUR AGO AND IT IS THE BEST NEWS EVER. I'll have to add a little update to the end of this post or something. XD
      All I do is pull up my "read" shelf in Goodreads in the grid setting instead of the list (I think that option should be top right) and then take a screenshot and crop out the books I don't want. I had to do a little rearranging as well, which I did using Paint.
      :D Well thanks. I got that skill from my mum.
      No problem! And that's good; I wasn't certain whether these were sort of pointless or not.

  2. I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B- it sounds awesome! Your art is amazing!! YOUR CATS. I can't wait.
    I like it when you put your reviews into one post, personally.

    Good luck with Camp NaNo :)

    1. xD Thanks. I've already pre-written the post on the cats, so that won't be a post that gets missed. There are plenty of photos so everyone can see how cute they are.