Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Subplots and Storylines - August 2015

Well, it appears that I am two days late getting this post up. But you patient questers don't mind too much, right?

August. How shall I begin to describe thee? Thou art fleeting as the wind, capricious as the sea . . . Ahem. Now that I've got that Shakespearean hooey out of my system, I believe I can articulate myself in a more contemporary manner.

This month began on a relaxing note, what with family holidays (which I documented HERE). It was lovely to take some time off from life's busyness together. One thing I forgot to mention in that vacation post was the night we had a campfire--complete with s'mores, naturally--and took turns telling each family member something we loved/appreciated about them. It brought on tears for some of us, and remains one of my favorite memories of the vacation.

And then it was back home--back to work! writing! movies! corn on the cob! Don't laugh. Fresh corn on the cob, salted and slathered with butter, is one of the very best things on God's green earth.

But I know you all have much more pressing questions than "what did you eat?" Unless you are Cait of Paper Fury. Because that is probably her primary question for everyone. (Pst, go check out her new blog design--gorgeous!) But the rest of you folk may be wondering . . .

What did you watch?
Too much.
  • A bunch of rewatches, which I mentioned in that vacation post.
  • The last three Indiana Jones movies. As with many things, I was late getting on that particular train. Those iconic adventure movies are pretty great, though, even when they make me howl with laughter over the leaps in logic and unintentional bits of hilarity. Indy, please explain to me how you and your crew managed to float down not one, not two, but THREE successive waterfalls without losing each other in the current or, excuse me, killing yourselves. While I'm asking questions, here's one for Spielberg and Lucas: what possessed you to mix aliens into the fourth movie? But I digress. I did quite enjoy the Indiana Jones films. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is probably my favorite.
  • Rewatched Mockingjay: Part 1 with my brother, and remembered exactly why I can't wait for the final Hunger Games installment.
  • Rewatched Teen Beach Movie with my sisters, Mom, and honorary aunt. It was a girly night, okay?
  • Because my littlest sis went off to camp for a week, us three oldest had the leisure of watching a number of older-audience movies. (Who am I kidding, we needed a diversion from all the tears cried over Kitty's absence.) So we watched The Amazing Spiderman, Thor: The Dark World, and then we gals watched Pride and Prejudice.
  • Finished the first season of Once Upon a Time. I can't say anything more here, otherwise it might swallow up this entire post, and it's supposed to be a balanced summary, not a TV show review. (But my poor heart . . .)
What did you read?
Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum. A fun little bundle of chick-lit, and for all you gals who don't prefer that sort of thing, you might find enough depth here to make this worth your while. I really identified with the main character Paige. Plus, Erynn Mangum's writing is just hilarious.
The Spirit Well by Stephen R. Lawhead (Book 3 in the Bright Empires series). Another brilliant piece of the Bright Empire series! Things are building toward an epic climax, I tell ya.
Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Words cannot express how amazing this novel is. But I shall try to employ those feeble tools in effort to do so anyway. This book, with its pseudo-eastern culture (I'm not learned enough in that sort of thing to pinpoint its exact inspiration--probably Japanese or something), definitely had a different feel to it than the previous installments. Yet it was so distinctly Goldstone Wood, and it shed light on some very important elements of the series. I just might have to write up a book review . . . or more like a reaction post, because a review implies that there may be some negative opinions. And I have zero of those.
Mindwar by Andrew Klavan. I'm excited that this is the first of a trilogy, since his last few books have been standalones. Sci-fi-ish videogame stuff allows for a fantasy feel in some portions of the story, and the villains are wonderfully creepy. I started off wanting to hit Rick Dial (main character) upside the head, but he straightened out by the end. There were some nice allegorical elements worked in, encouraging readers not to live by their feelings, and demonstrating the power to be found within us because of Christ.
Above by Leah Bobet. *le sigh* I wanted to like this book. I did. I stuck it out to the end, hoping that the unique writing voice and cool elements would make it worthwhile. But poetically off-kilter sentences and people with crab claw hands, lightning powers, or transforming-into-a-bee abilities were not enough. Or I should say, they might have been, had the book not veered into hot-button-topic territory. (Talking to ghosts. A weird, almost-séance scene. Mental disorders, which isn't a bad thing to address, but just didn't quite click here. Gender issues. That one jumped out of nowhere and totally messed up the ending. I couldn't even figure out exactly what the author wanted to say on that topic.) Also, the cover implies the book is about the girl with bee's wings. It's not. She's the love interest of the main, a lovesick, melodramatic boy named Matthew.
What did you write?
Glad you asked! (Er, glad I . . . asked . . . myself?) I didn't write anything the first half of the month (holidays, y'know), but afterward I got a good bit done in my Sleeping Beauty novella. And guess what? I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT. Yay! But guess what else? IT'S EXACTLY 9,934 WORDS OVER THE CONTEST LIMIT. Oh no.

So it's obvious I didn't reach my goal of 20k by July 29th. But 30k by August 29th isn't too bad if you remember I didn't write a word for ten days. And that I worked a number of the other days. But boy oh boy, do I ever have my work cut out for me. I'll have to chop off almost a third of the story. Can it be done? We shall see. I suspect my blood, sweat, and tears will stain this blog in the coming month or two.

Oh, and I still do not have a title. This is not good. But I do have a few possibilities I'm toying with, and I hope to settle on a keeper in time to participate in the Show and Tell being hosted this month.

I can't leave the topic of Sleeping Beauty without sending a big shoutout to my lovely beta readers! Their responses have made drafting this story twice as much fun, and their input on various things has been so valuable. Thank you, gals!

Good heavens, you've been watching, reading, and writing so much--have you had time for anything else?
Yes, but the only noteworthy thing was the walk I took with an old friend the other day. We had a great time getting some exercise and catching up on each other's lives!

So now I must ask you, questers, what your epic quests are for September. How was your summer? Do you have plans for the fall? And if you're participating in the Five Magic Spindles contest, how's your entry coming along? I, for one, will be attempting to trim down my inbox and catch up on some beta reading before jumping into edits (ahem, lumberjack practice).


  1. I always love these posts! (Also, "Shakespearean hooey". *chokes* You're so hilarious. XD)

    Looks like August was a fabulous month. ^_^

    That is so sweet about the campfire thing. You guys are precious!

    Oooh, lots of fun movies/shows!
    I'm not a HUGE Indiana Jones fan, but I appreciate it enough to ask "WHY ALIENS?" Um, Indian Jones collects old ARTIFACTS and things. Aliens? Seriously. Ugh. Whyyyy?
    Mockingjay... Just the mention of it makes my heart burst into tears. *sniffles*
    OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS. You've seen the first season of OUAT????? :O EEEEEEEE!!!!! You MUST share your thoughts with me sometime!

    These books look verrrry interesting. But most importantly here, YOU READ GOLDEN DAUGHTER. Man, I need to catch up on Goldstone books.

    I absolutely have to give you another big CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your SB story! :D :D :D I mean, that was 30k words in what? 2 months? With a bunch of days or not writing in there. That is a HUGE feat, girl!
    I feel for you having to cut out so much. It hurts thinking of you removing all those words from that perfect story. *sniffles* But you got this! And if you have any questions you know I'm more than happy to lend a hand. ^_^ And a shoulder to cry in, because we all know "editing" is really synonymous for rocking-back-and-forth-on-the-floor-sobbing. Eheh.

    My plans for September is to...just enjoy this month while I'm still taking a writing break before diving into NaNoWriMo plotting in October. o.o HOW is it so late in the year already? HOW???

    1. Thank you! *bows* It was a pretty great month, yes.

      It's something we like to do at least once a year. ^_^

      The alien thing just felt so out of place. I mean, the ruins were pretty cool, but then you've got crystal skeletons doing some weird telepathy thing, and there's a UFO, and just... yeah. :P
      We'll be a royal mess after Mockingjay Part 2 comes out. D:
      YES, I DID! I bought the first season while in the States! (And those incoherent thoughts are in the email I just sent. xD)

      You'll LOVE Golden Daughter, I'm sure of it! It gave me chills.

      Thank you so much!!! <3 And thank you for being there as a Question Answerer and Idea Bouncer Offer. XD (And a Shoulder on Which to Cry.) Oh my word, that describes editing perfectly. Heh.

      Well, you enjoy your September, then! And yay for upcoming plotting! This is the last book in that series, right...? o.o I have no idea how it's this late in the year already. Crazy.

  2. You guys know how to have a fantastic campfire, especially with the love and tears.
    My condolences on having to sit through alien scenes. Sure-fire way to ruin a story:Aliens!
    But Golden Daughter- wasn't it great? I have fond memories of finally getting that book in the mail, thrilling over it, and reading it with my baby goat beside me. He left a hoof print on it.
    Congratulations on finishing the first draft of your Sleeping Beauty story! So sorry to hear about having to cut so much out, though.

    1. It was so good!

      Haha, agreed. XD Although having Irena's overblown accent to laugh at helped a little. (I was shocked to discover that actress also plays Galadriel. Like wut?)

      Golden Daughter was amazing!! I am sorely tempted to flail over characters and allegories and plotlines right now, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone else. Aw, you have a baby goat? That's adorable! (My first thought was BEANA, lol.)

      Thank you! :D Hopefully the cutting won't be TOO painful... It is good practice in honing one's story and being concise.

  3. Ooh, good movies! I love Indiana Jones (though not Temple of Doom, and while I enjoyed Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I saw it more as a fun tribute to Raiders and Crusade than anything else. A good tribute, but not quite worthy... if you know what I mean?)

    Congrats on finishing your Sleeping Beauty story! I am so excited to read the snippets in the Show and Tell post... and read the collection next year! (Don't worry too much about your title, it's not a make-it-or-break-it sort of thing. They asked me if I'd be willing to change my title, and I liked what they came up with better, anyway).

    I got Golden Daughter for my birthday last year and still haven't had time to read it. I know I'm going to love it and I haven't had time to really SINK into it... some books are like that, you know? You just need a good 5-6 hours to devour it, and I'm not going to get that anytime soon... I probably need to level-set my expectations.

    1. Temple of Doom was the worst of the bunch. Except you've got to love Short Round. XD (Yeah, you're right about the tribute thing. I guess I went into these movies expecting mere entertainment, and not any depth.) Hey, have you heard that Chris Pratt might star as Indy in the future?

      Thank you! I'm excited too! (Whew, that's good to know. Sometimes I find the perfect title instantly, and other times nothing seems to click. So knowing it's changeable is a relief!) And I can't wait to get my hands on Five Enchanted Roses--your story looks great! :D

      Ooh, I hope you get a chance to immerse yourself in Golden Daughter soon. It is positively gorgeous. I read it over the course of a week, week and a not exactly one sitting, but the story was magical! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Well haven't you been a busy bee this month! All those movies and books and words! I haven't read any of those books, though from your description I don't think I'll be picking up Above any time soon. :p
    Hope your September is as splendiferous as your August. :D

    1. That I have been! Just not the sort of bee pictured on Above's cover. XD At least all the other books I read this month were great! (And totally worth reading, if you're looking for books. Which you probably won't be, seeing as university is starting up, and I'm sure THAT will supply you with plenty to do! :P)

      Thank you! I hope your September is splendiferous as well! :D

  5. We have similar movie and show tastes haha. I love Once Upon a Time, Thor: The Dark World, Spider-Man, The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 1 (CANNOT WAIT FOR THE LAST MOVIE!), and Indiana Jones. ^ ^ And yay for finishing first drafts! :D

    My summer was pretty good. Very busy with rushing to finish Red Hood. XD But now it's sent in yay! And my fall plans include ... more writing and more drawing lol and a possible trip down to a fair in my childhood town. ^ ^

    1. That's awesome! Are you up to date with the Once Upon a Time seasons? The good thing about coming late to the party is that I don't have to wait for every episode... Even so, catching up might take me a while. MOCKINGJAY, YES. I'm on pins and needles here! ^_^

      Yay for sending in Red Hood!! That's wonderful! Do keep all your blog followers posted on how that develops. :) Writing and drawing and going to a fair sound fabulous! Have fun!

  6. I agree with the corn on the cob thing, heaven.
    I love 'The Last Crusade' Indiana Jones is awesome.
    Once upon a Time is one of my favorite shows, Rumpelstiltskin gives me all kinds of character ideas.

    1. Mmhm! (And I'm about to have some more for lunch--yay!)
      Wasn't it a fun movie? :)
      Oh goodness, yes. Rumplestiltskin is such a layered, hard-to-read character. Every time it looks like he'll step solidly onto the good side for once, I fall for it. And then I remember that he only serves himself. HENCE THE CONFUSION. XD It's awesome.