Highlights and Goals – July, 2018

I haven’t done a Highlights and Goals post in eons (however long that is), and now seemed an appropriate time, since I am WWAAYY behind in blogging and, um, I was running out of ideas. 😉

So, let’s dive right in, folks. June highlights!

The biggest highlight of June was bringing home our little puppy Phoenix. I introduced her in the last post, and she’s pretty much the reason I have been absent from this blog. To give you an idea, I’ve been keeping a pair of shoes on at all times just so I’m ready to fly out the door when she has to go to the bathroom. But then, if you’ve ever had a puppy you’re trying to potty train, you know where I’m coming from.

Otherwise, Phoenix is a remarkably smart little girl. She is already sitting and staying while I prepare her food and waiting for my release command despite being the most food-crazy dog I’ve ever met. 🙂

In other news, in June I also wrapped up a few more things in One Light Shining, which has been saved for editing/proofreading. And we planted our potatoes in the garden. We never plant potatoes now until late June/early July, which allows us to avoid the first onslaught of Colorado Potato Beetles.

So, June was a pretty wild month. Now for July goals!

This is where I have to be a little, shall we say, secretive. Because there might be a super crazy exciting announcement on the bookish front coming up in a few days to a week. So I can’t be too forthcoming right now. But stay tuned. Please. *cue dramatic music*

  • Read Fawkes by Nadine Brandes. This is like, number one, and for a very good reason. I devoured Nadine’s Out of Time Series. And I LOVE the sound of Fawkes. If you haven’t the faintest clue what I’m talking about, go check out the book. Quickly.
  • Train Phoenix. Of course. She’s going to be the best-behaved Goldendoodle in our neighborhood. Actually, I think she’s the only Goldendoodle in our neighborhood, so . . .
  • Read. Because, I must.
  • Pick raspberries. Our bushes in the backyard are FULL of unripe berries. They should be coming in a couple weeks.

I know, I know, boring. But the most potentially exciting thing on this list, well, can’t be on this list. You must watch for new posts, that’s all.

And speaking of new posts . . . you know how I said I was running out of ideas? Well, I need your advice. All of you. Let me know your ideas on upcoming posts I could share. Writing related is good, but I’ll consider anything that would interest my faithful followers! You guys are just the best. So, let me know your thoughts, ’cause I can’t read your minds. Oh, really?

Let’s chat! What are you up to this month? What book are you most looking forward to reading, or are presently reading? How about possible blog posts? I need your opinions! What would you like to see on this blog this month?

Advertisements

I Have Finished the Book (a book update)

So I mentioned in the last post that there was an unplanned project that came into existence – don’t you love how they do that? – in January. I had temporarily put my portal fantasy novel on the back burner to give myself some breathing space, so I had time to write something new.

And I did.

And I finished it.

*throws confetti and invites you all to the (gluten-free) pizza party*

Now . . . details!

Ashes Remain was born from a New Year’s Resolution to have a book published by the end of 2018. Now that’s my kind of Resolution. To make things a little easier, I wrote this book in novella length. I started on January 3rd, finished on February 1st.

Ashes Remain is a novella taking place in the modern world – culture shock from my typical fantasy manuscripts – at a time when the American electrical grid is attacked and essentially disabled. Trying desperately to get to away from the ensuing chaos is a family that includes lovesick teen Wren and her brothers and sister. I can’t tell you how many times the little things kept changing during the writing. It is true – the characters won’t do what you want in the first draft. 🙂

Ashes Remain is a story of triumph, really – triumph over impossible circumstances. Hope, while seemingly inaccessible, is everywhere you look. And when God seems out of reach, even callous, He’s holding us and all our tomorrows. That, my friends, is my new book, Ashes Remain.

*throws confetti again ’cause I can’t believe it’s done*

I’d like to share one thing I learned from this writing process, besides the last post I did on finishing the first draft, and that is, the benefit of setting aside the first draft when it is completed and taking time to breathe. I am moving on to a new (or old) project after this, for just a couple months, while this first draft simmers and ages on my shelf. Then comes the second draft. We won’t talk about that right now. 🙂

If you’re jumping up and down – like me. I don’t know if you’re jumping up and down, but I sure am – then I do have a couple fun extras going along with the completion of this draft. Okay, one fun extra. Up until now, the Pinterest board containing all the secret tidbits and inspiration of this story has been secret. Shh! I’m giving it just to you! Follow this little link to get an exclusive sneak peek inside the story that I’m totally too excited about. (In case you couldn’t tell.)

🙂 🙂 🙂

Don’t forget to check out Pinterest for those bonus points!

And now . . . let’s chat.

2018 – Highlights and Goals

Yes, and everyone and their cat is writing a greeting to 2018, so here’s another one. (What do you mean you’re getting sick of them?) 🙂

Well, what happened in 2017? Oh, so many things. Some good. Some bad. Some fun. Some a little scary. You know how it goes. But there are a couple highlights I must revisit . . . for posterity if you’re a Princess Bride fan.

2017 gave me my first ever visit to a theater. On a father-daughter date, my dad and I went to see The Man Who Invented Christmas – which I emphatically urge you to take an interest in – just before Christmas. It was crazy cool to see that kind of movie on a ginormous screen, especially since we’re some of those weird people who don’t own a TV and we only watch movies on our computer. 🙂  I found the theater itself a little weird, in a writerly sort of way. The words strange and vortex came to mind, as well as dystopian and story idea. But nevermind all that. That’s coming from the awkward sixteen-year-old who has never been to the theater before last month.

2017 also introduced me to National Novel Writing Month, and as some of you know, I embarked on the adventure that is NaNo for the first time. I hit the goal, and I loved it!

And 2017 also got me started in learning French. Which is fun.

Now for the long-awaited 2018, the year which never was and will never be again. Weird way to think about it. Yeah, so there are some serious highlights looking ahead to the new year. One of them is Nadine Brandes’ new release, Fawkes, which will magically appear on July 10th in the hands of those who pre-order. And seriously, that book looks good.

2018 is also – get ready – the year in which I have set the goal to have something officially published by the end of the year. 🙂 Let’s do this!

2018 is also the year in which there’s a terrific-looking movie coming out. No definite release date yet, but The Reliant sounds seriously good. I’ve read the book and am totally behind the message of faith and preparedness. The story was action-packed in book form, so I have no doubt the movie takes that to a new level. Check out the trailer, people.

And that’s enough for today. What are you up to this year, my friends? Any books or movies that impacted you in 2017? Any you’re dying to see/read in 2018? (And please, somebody tell me I’m not the only one who LOVED The Man Who Invented Christmas.) Let’s chat!

Highlights and Goals – September

So, of course, school has thrown blogging WAAAY off schedule, but I’m back. *sheepish grin* Okay, so let’s just move on and look at August’s highlights:

  • Read James Rubart’s Book of Days. Oh . . . wow . . . just . . . wow . . .
  • Did a ton of tomato canning with my mom. She’s doing the very last batch of canning today so that we’ll have 200 quarts for this winter. 🙂
  • Did some writing. Some . . . not enough. *sheepish grin*

And without further ado – August wasn’t as dull as it sounded, I promise – SEPTEMBER!

  • Write. What else?
  • School. I mean, of course.
  • Read. As in, Michael Vey 7. 7! Already! The series is finished! Anybody as dying as I am to get my hands on that thing?
  • Do research. I’ve got a couple agriculture/livestock things to research this month for future reference.
  • Find out again what serendipity means.
  • Have Lentil the Cat spayed. Since, uh, she’s in heat again, only this time we have a four-month-old male cat in the house. AND she’s escaped, like, six times through the porch. 🙂

Yeah, so September looks like fun. What are your plans? Is reading Michael Vey among them??? Let’s chat!

By the way . . . on my next post I’ll be talking about a valuable tool for writers that is not the laptop/computer. Nor is it the pen and paper. Don’t miss that!

Highlights and Goals – August 2017

Here it ’tis! August! The garden harvest is in full swing, as we are picking beans on a daily basis and the corn is just ’round the corner. But I’m squeezing in time for a tad neglected blog – *wince* – and guess what? This blog is getting a makeover sometime in the month of August. Fun! Who doesn’t like a little housecleaning? Good for the soul.

Anyhow, let’s get on with it and look at a few highlights from July. Can’t believe she’s gone, can you?

JULY HIGHLIGHTS

Gardening . . . Gardening . . . More gardening . . . Need I say more?

Yes, of course I have to say more, it was a whole thirty-one days.

Okay, so July thirty-first marked one-year-to-the-date since I was baptized at our local church. What a wonderful memory! I’ll never forget how I felt God standing beside me that day. 🙂

In July, I also kicked off the second draft of my WIP, so that was agonizing exciting.

AUGUST GOALS

  • Get some substantial work done on the second draft
  • Update Musings of a Goat Herdess, because it’s been forever!
  • Write for Faithwriters
  • Read and garden . . .
  • Garden and read . . .  (not at the same time)

Oh, and how could I forget! You remember our first cat, Lentil, who we rescued as a young feral kitten and tamed? I told her story on this blog, and now please wish her a happy birthday – she’s ONE YEAR OLD!!! Super exciting to see how amazingly well she’s done. And . . . one more thing . . .

I haven’t announced this yet on the blog, but here it is. Say hello to our newest stray cat family member, Sam, Lentil’s half brother, whom we trapped and have begun to gentle. He is adorable. Just sayin’. I’ll get his story onto a blog post one of these days. Get ready to squeal over his picture – he is adorable. Just sayin’.

And that about concludes this highlights and goals post. Let’s chat! I want to hear what you’re up to this lovely summer. (And don’t forget to leave Lentil a happy birthday, please. Thank you.) 🙂

Highlights and Goals – July 2017

Unbelievable. It’s here. The half-way-ish mark of 2017. Is that just crazy or what? The year is more than half done? Wow . . .  Aliens, I’m tellin’ ya. They’re messing with us.

Okay, it is also time for another highlights and goals post – a little note showing the highlights of June and looking forward to the goals of July. Ready? Let’s go.

JUNE HIGHLIGHTS

Gardening, writing, reading, such fun! So, I finished reading Athol Dickson’s The Cure, and also finished reading Angela Hunt’s Bathsheba. I’m actually ahead of schedule on my reading list. Awesome! Another amazing highlight landed on the first of this month when my mom took third place in Faithwriters’ Best of the Best yearly award. That is just so awesome! Congrats, Mom.

Also in June, we picked and packed fifty-six pounds of gorgeous strawberries into the freezer for this winter. EEPP!

Another highlight also came at the beginning of this month, when I spent a couple days with wonderful cousins on the wonderful coast of Maine. Shout out and a big thanks to them. 🙂

JULY GOALS

Now for the fun part. For one, I am going to be getting back to my every-three-to-four-days blogging schedule. Juggling two blogs is a little tricky, but I think that routine worked far better for this blog. So get ready, my friends, ’cause there’s lots more coming!

  • Continue with my new “anonymous” writing project (details to follow later)
  • Read one or two more books
  • Submit at least four articles for this Faithwriters‘ quarter
  • Journal! I’m so bad at journaling
  • Pick peas fresh from the garden and eat ’em! It’s that time of year.

And looking ahead, once the “anonymous” project is completed up to the first draft stage – fall-ish – I’m going to be diving into the writing of the second draft of my YA portal fantasy, One Light ShiningI am very much looking forward to that. 🙂

And that concludes this highlights and goals post. Stay tuned, however, because we will be back to a much more diligent blogging routine. How-tos, how-not-tos, writing, reading, writing, stray cats and other cats, and . . . did I forget to mention writing?

Let us chat! What are your ventures this lovely month? What summery things did you do in June?

Highlights and Goals – June

It’s June. June 3rd. Like, seriously? What alien forces are messing with earth’s precious calendar this time?

Anyhow, it’s time for a highlights and goals post on this blog. If you’re a newbie, that’s just what we do in the beginning of every month, a recap of the previous month and a look ahead for this one.

MAY HIGHLIGHTS

Well, I actually hit my reading goal for once. I finished Winter Haven and two new book, Soul’s Gate and Memory’s Door by James Rubart, which I will be reviewing here once I’ve finished the third book in the series. Meantime, I won’t utter a peep about them. 🙂 Actually, Memory’s Door was finished yesterday. That kind of counts as a goal accomplishment, right???

In writing news, as some of you know, I started a non-fiction blog series last month, Musings of a Goat Herdess, which will be continuing with one release a month until further notice.

In perfectly random news, I’m getting completely stoked for the release of Jaye Knight’s next Ilyon Chronicles book, Exiles. If you’re as rabid a fan as I am, then I raise a question . . .  Are you stoked yet? July, July, July . . .  I will so be reviewing that book here. Every release in that series is epicness! Are you a fan? Do you agree?

JUNE GOALS

And now we’re on to the goals. Fairly simple. For one, I have a writing project that I’m working with right now, or I should say, I’m testing the waters of. I’m not breathing a word – 🙂 – because we all must be kept in suspense! Don’t worry, I should be saying something by next month, depending on how things go with presenting the outline, etc. to my critique partner. More on this at a later date.

  • Finish Rubart’s Well Spring series (just finished number 2) and read a new book.
  • Submit a story to both of the last two topics in this Faithwriters‘ quarter.
  • Gain substantial ground on New Project.
  • Get the wax beans started in the garden and water the celery daily (my job, since celery and water are like me and books).
  • Teach my cat Lentil how to open the refrigerator door. 🙂 Kidding.

And that about covers it.

So, what are your goals this month? Any summer activities going on? Show of hands – how many of you wish summer was longer or shorter, depending on where you live??? Maine has a kind of short summer. Actually, you’d never know it’s summer right now. June 3rd and we have the wood stove going. I’m not even kidding. What are these aliens doing to us???

Anyway . . . let’s chat!

It’s May – so What’s Next?

It’s May. I’ve finished the first draft of my book. So . . . what’s next? As it seems from everything I’ve seen online lately, everyone and their brother’s pet lemur has been posting about goals and such for May. Sooo . . . I’m late. But, hey, better late than never, right?

WRITING IN MAY

  • At least two submissions for Faithwriters.
  • Submission for children’s story contest.
  • Decide on and begin this summer’s writing project.

EVERYTHING ELSE IN MAY

  • Start the garden up with my family. (As in, huge garden. We put up most of our winter food.)
  • Make plans for lunches during May. (My job in the summertime.)
  • Read Winter Haven and . . . two others if there’s time. 🙂
  • Take part in a couple Caption Challenges over on Hope Ann’s blog. (Those are so fun!)

BLOG READERS, GATHER AROUND! I NEED YOUR OPINIONS.

Okay, so everyone and their brother’s pet . . . uh, hedgehog, seems to be doing these stories on their blog in parts. I won’t have time to put this together too early in the summer, what with writing, other blogging responsibilities, farming, etc., but suppose I get this going in, say, August? I want your opinion on this. What might make a good fictional blog series? What are some of your favorites? Don’t be shy! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

APRIL HIGHLIGHTS

Okay, a real highlight from last month was watching the new movie Ben Hur. All of you, if you haven’t seen it, or you’re one of those who have been poisoned by poor reviews of the movie, just go and watch it now. The story was awesome. A really solid, meaningful film. It is a remake of the classic Ben Hur story, but it was really, really good. Okay? So, just watch it.

Another highlight . . . one of our goats had twins! We weren’t convinced Spice was actually pregnant until she dropped two gorgeous, rambunctious, spunky girls aptly named Cricket and Beetle. They are adorable. 🙂

Last major highlight, this one from early this month – as some of you loyal followers will know – I finished the first draft of my book. Ah, that’s a relief. Kinda hard to know where to go now, since I’ve spent, like, five or so months on this draft. Mmm. *takes a deep, smiling breath*

WELL, THIS POST WAS FUN. NOW WHAT?

I’m thinking of doing one of these “Highlights and Goals” post at the beginning of every month. That sounds fun, huh? Now you can go comment on this post with your blog series opinion – don’t forget that – and tonight, you can go watch Ben Hur. Do not forget that. You can rent it on Amazon, I’ve already checked. 🙂