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?
- 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).