Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Subplots and Storylines - September 2015

Despite the calendar telling me fall began on September 23rd, I always feel that September 1st is a more accurate date for the autumnal equinox. Something about students returning to classes, the air turning crisper, leaves turning gold and orange and red . . . It's just fall-ish. I adore this time of year, when sunny afternoons are still warm enough to wander about in sandals, and evenings are chilly enough to wrap myself in a sweater; when the bugs have started to die off; when you  blink and suddenly the trees are shaking out their golden splendor. Perfection.

Maybe it's the weather, but it feels like the subtle turning of a page. My siblings are burying their noses in schoolbooks once again (heavens, has it really been two years since that was me?). The garden has been cleaned out, down to a bare patch of dirt; and jars upon jars upon jars of canned goods line the pantry shelves. The tomato canning--salsa sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, canned whole tomatoes--is done early this year. Hooray! My college & careers group (the young adult version of youth group, in case you're unfamiliar with the term) has started up again. Change is in the air.

Other September happenings include:
  • A sleepover with a good friend, which consisted of movies, walks, and late-night conversations.
  • My parents' 25th wedding anniversary! My siblings and I served them an Italian meal, restaurant style. It's been our tradition of late to look for new recipes, shoo Mom out of the kitchen, and whip up supper for the two of them on their anniversary. We kitchen staff eat in a different room while they enjoy soft music and a candlelit dinner. This year we made baked ziti, caesar salad, and garlic toast. Oh, and afterwards we all gathered around to watch a video of their wedding highlights. Romantic!
  • I mentioned it already, but the weather has just been gorgeous.
  • Editing The Brightest Thread, my Sleeping Beauty retelling. It's dropped from 30k to just over 27 k, and I've already gone through the first half of the story. Heh. I must learn to be more ruthless.
  • Last Sunday night, we stood on the driveway to witness a 'blood moon.' Or more accurately, the eclipse of a super moon. The moon was larger, closer to earth, and this particular eclipse turned it rusty red. (More like old, dried blood than bright scarlet blood.) Pretty neat.
  • Yesterday was Coffee Day, apparently, which I found out after the fact. Oh well. I did accidently celebrate with a pumpkin spice latte.
I watched a few things this month:
  • A re-watch of Mom's Night Out. Just as funny the second time around!
  • The new Annie movie, watched during a girl's night. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but it was actually very good. The songs got stuck in my head for a few days, which I didn't mind at all.
  • During the sleepover, I watched the first four episodes of Once Upon a Time Season 2! (Captain Hook!)
  • Insurgent. While it wasn't as compelling as the first movie, and I did skip a scene (NOT. NECESSARY. GUYS.), it was fairly good. I'm kind of undecided on my opinion. On one hand, it didn't follow the book. On the other, the changes did accomplish something the book did not (see Tori's review @ Geeks Under Grace; one of the last paragraphs). The different faction settings were sharply contrasted, which was visually beautiful. I continue to love Tris's role. But as I said, it wasn't quite on the same level as Divergent.
My September reading was sparse due to busy-ness. When I finally visited the library last night for the first time in weeks, my heart almost hurt at the number of books I wanted to grab! I settled for a realistic five. Anyway, here's what I did manage to read this month . . .

Doon by Carey Corp & Lori Langdon: Aside from a few plot weaknesses, this was a fun YA romance/portal fantasy in which two girls cross over a magical Scottish bridge into the world of Doon . . . where they promptly fall in love with two princes. Some aspects of the book were quite original, and the princes' lovely Scottish brogues are enough to make it worth the read. (Just a warning: though it's a Christian book, it had a sprinkling of mild language that surprised me.)

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson. FABULOUS. As a romantic suspense novel, it included awesome FBI cases, a really sweet and maturely-handled romance, and heart-plumbing depth. If you've never read Dee Henderson, go do so now. (Her O'Malley series is a great place to start.)

(My cover was pinkish rather than blue...)
Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. I've been slowly working through this devotional all summer. All you ladies out there, whatever your age, this book will touch your heart. I'm serious, there's at least one chapter in there for every kind of woman. Though I didn't agree with a few theological statements, overall the book was amazing. It opened my eyes to some beautiful truths about real womanhood.

And that, my friends, was my September in a nutshell. October awaits!

How was your month? What are you looking forward to in October? And fellow Five Magic Spindles contestants: how is your entry coming along? (Can you believe we have three months left to finish??)

(Psst, stay tuned for this Saturday's post. I am offering some writing tips at last!)

*Edit: I forgot to mention one very exciting happening this month. Anne Elisabeth Stengl held a Show and Tell on her blog for the Five Magic Spindles contestants, which I entered. It was so exciting to get a glimpse of over 30 stories! There's a lot of talent and promising ideas this year. Go take a gander!


  1. Man, do I love September. The month of fruit, vibrant colours, and perfect weather! I don't want it to end.

    Congratulations to your parents on their silver anniversary! That's lovely!

    Quite amazing, that moon. It was the first blood moon I was able to see without the interference of clouds.

    1. Ahhh, me too! *hugs September* Is fall your favorite season?

      Thank you! I'll pass along the congrats.

      It was, wasn't it? I think it's the first blood moon I've seen, period. It was beautifully clear and cloudless for me too. :) My dad's binoculars let me see the craters more vividly, too.

  2. I also love Fall, it just feels so ALIVE!
    Our mom took my sibling and I to a lake so we could see the blood moon, and it was incredible!
    As for my 5MS entries (I'm juggling multiple ones at once and still questioning if it was a good idea to do so) ... I finished the first draft of one of them, am writing the first draft of one of them, and haven't yet started on the third one. I am so behind :). Oh well, at least I'm pretty sure the one that I actually want to enter will be done in time. Good luck getting your story to the right word count! That can be SO hard!
    ~Savannah Perran

    1. Isn't it ironic that it feels so alive, yet nature is preparing to sleep/die for winter? (Heh, just an odd thought...)

      Ooh, nice! I'll bet the lake made it twice as incredible.

      Wow, good for you for working on multiple entries! It's taking me some effort just to swing one. XD Must be fun to come at the story from a bunch of different angles. I'm curious what you're doing with them... (You didn't participate in the Show and Tell, did you? Unless it was under a different name?)
      Thank you! It's a challenge, but it'll be so rewarding once I make it. :) Thanks for commenting, Savannah!

    2. No, I didn't do the show and tell (though I wish I had), I guess I just didn't have time for it.
      I'm desperately hoping none of my entries are way over the word limit ... but knowing me, at least one of them will be :D. ~Savannah Perran

    3. Well then, your entries will be all the more mysterious. :)

      Ohhh, you and me both, girl! I mean, I HAD been hoping that my entry wouldn't be over the word limit. Hopefully you can manage to keep it close to 20k! :D

  3. Fall is my absolute favorite season. That is so cool what you and your siblings did for your parents anniversary. Eeep your editing skills are pretty impressive 27K from 30K isn't a small feat, best of luck with that. I am praying for you, and I hope your story makes the top five!
    Once upon a time and Mom's Night Out, loved that Sean Austin was in that,
    I have Doon, can't wait to read it.

    1. I love it too!
      Thanks--we definitely have fun doing that. :)
      Aww, thank you, Skye! <333 You're incredibly sweet and encouraging. *hugs*
      I had to look up who Sean Astin was... NO WAY. He played Sam in LotR?? That's so cool that he also was a part of Mom's Night Out!
      Ooh, you must tell me what you think of it!

  4. I'm so glad you're having a good start to fall! And Yay for OUAT! :D Unfortunately the beautiful weather hasn't started here yet because it's the rainy season, but it should get pretty soon. October is usually the peak for fall here in the South. ^ ^ I can't wait for Halloween and fairs! Do you have fairs you like to attend in your area? Happy writing!

    1. Thank you! Yes, three cheers for OuaT! XD
      Sounds like you have nice weather to look forward to! Where I live, it'll steadily be getting cooler now. Unfortunately, there aren't any fairs around here, or at least, none that I know of. I will be going to a corn maze with some friends, though! :)
      Thanks--same to you, Tori!

  5. Ah September back home is so nice and crisp! It was hot and sunny with occasional downpours all month where I am (no complaints about the sunny warm weather though - I got to study outside!), and the leaves are only just starting to think about turning yellow. Happy anniversary to your parents! It sounds like you guys put in a lot of work to commemorate their wedding. I really like that idea of the kids cooking the parents an anniversary meal. Such a sweet idea!
    That awkward moment when your SB retelling is still sitting just shy of 300 words. :P Don't think it's going to be done in time what with school and all, but whatever. Wish you all the best and a sharp editing axe with your submission. XD
    Happy October!

    1. I hadn't even thought of the difference in weather between home and where you are now. Sounds nice!

      Thank you--I'll pass that along. :) It's been a fun tradition!

      LOL. Wait...didn't you write a lot more than 300 words? I thought you'd drafted all or most of the story blindly (screen turned off). Or did I miss something...? :P (Aww, that's too bad you may not have time to finish before the deadline. :( Keep writing it anyway, though! I must read it!)

      Haha, thank you! And many October-ish felicitations to you as well.

  6. It can't possibly be October already! O_O Where DID September go??? But October is one of my favorite months, so I guess I can't be too sad. I do love fall! Sadly, we haven't quite settled into fall weather yet. The temperature seems to have forgotten summer should be long over. >.> But maybe soon.

    I do so love these summary posts! And it looks to me like you had quite the full September!

    Cutting out 3k words from your novella is a HUGE feat! That's wonderful! (But also sad because I don't want you to cut anything from that gorgeous story! D: *huggles it tight and refuses to let go*)

    Wait a minute... *gets distracted by one very important thing in this post* YOU'VE MET CAPTAIN HOOK IN OUAT. *squeeeeeee*
    I'm sorry. Just...just...HOOK!!!!
    Okay, I won't say anymore. *zips lips*

    I hope you have an absolutely fabulous October! <333

    1. September probably got sucked into the same wormhole that swallowed the rest of 2015. o.O But yes, fall is wonderful. Hopefully autumn weather will arrive for you soon!

      Haha, thank you! I'm glad they're enjoyable. ^__^

      THE PAIN. The story isn't bleeding yet, but it may have to... Yikes, that sounds morbid. :P Thanks for the encouragement, Christine! <3

      I HAVE MET HOOK. Very briefly, but I've met him. (Why do the best characters have to be baaaad? *wails*) Heh, I know/suspect something spoilery concerning him. >.>

      Same to you!!! <333