Thursday, March 31, 2016

Subplots and Storylines - March 2016

Sometimes life walks along calmly, sedately, hands in its pockets, whistling as it goes. And sometimes life dashes willy-nilly down the street, hat flying clear away and feet slapping a staccato rhythm on the pavement. My March was more like the latter. New subplots sprang up on the page at the same time old ones wrapped up, and I'm sitting here today blinking at the calendar and wondering how in the world a whole month is over already.

The weavings of life's subplots . . .

March began as it usually does, and as all months tend to do: on the first. But this first of March was special. The long-awaited announcement of the Five Magic Spindles contest had arrived! I was scheduled to work an early shift that day, and wasn't sure if the news would be posted before I left. Fortunately, it was up in time. With my brother (who'd entered that awesome Japanese samurai story I mentioned a while back) looking over my shoulder, I scrolled down . . . and saw five names that were not ours, nor those of any of my friends who had entered.

Naturally, we were disappointed. But then I checked the list of the Top Ten Finalists--AND MY NAME WAS LISTED.

I could hardly believe it. Me? Among the top ten?

Let's just say it was a good thing my work shift was short, and even better that I was working in the back room the whole time. I seriously doubt I would've been much help to customers. My brain was running in ecstatic circles, screaming the same thing over and over: "I'm a finalist!" As if repetition would make it sink in.

Needless to say, that was an amazing way to start my month!

The next subplot of life to be woven in was a week-long trip my parents took, during which I ran the household. Not that it needed much running. My siblings are fantastic and helped out a lot. (Love you guys!)

The morning after my parents returned, I packed up and headed out of town for my dear friend's wedding. I got there the day before to help set up and decorate. The wedding was gorgeous. The weather was perfect for outdoor pictures (meaning I didn't go completely numb like I'd expected), I had so much fun with the bride and my fellow bridesmaids, and the ceremony and reception were beautiful! My friend has found an amazing, godly young man. They're perfect together. I was honored to celebrate their special day with them. And you know how most weddings have something that goes wrong? There was nothing like that for theirs. Crazy amazing.

(I snagged a couple pictures off the photographers' Facebook.)

The happy couple!
If you look really closely at the left picture,
I'm the bridesmaid on the far right. 

a collage of my own pictures

My Bible study group began a series on the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11. We started with Rahab, and guess what? If you check the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, you'll see that Rahab married a guy named Salmon. Multiple historical sources say that Salmon was one of the two spies that Rahab hid in her house! How cool is that?! We've also spent two sessions studying Gideon, which was quite inspiring.

Spring is well on its way. Only a teensy tiny bit of snow is left on the yard, and we've had some sunny, warm days, which is very welcome. (And also snow. Falling from the sky. That's just Manitoba for ya.)

You know that quick decision I made that just felt right? Well, that decision was to sign up for a writing course offered by an author I respect and admire. What he's already posted freely online has helped me gain new perspectives, so I'm excited to dive into the actual course material soon.

My brother and I attended a college info night. The application is sitting on my desk, waiting for me to fill it out. I'm honestly so excited for fall!

And basically there were Easter gatherings, long walks, errands, way too much pizza, journaling like crazy last weekend to try to sum up my month, and falling behind on my inbox and blog reading. (So sorry, folks.)

Storylines on screen

As you can see, life's goings-on didn't leave a lot of room for media, but I did watch a few things.

  • Epic (rewatch): I love this movie about tiny leaf men who ride hummingbirds, and a villain rotting the forest, and a young girl trying to connect to her absentminded father. This time around, I found myself paying more attention the storytelling techniques, and appreciating the strong chain of cause and effect.
  • The Scorch Trials: I haven't read the books, so I don't know how much it deviated from the source material, but I thought it was good. My biggest problem was with the frequent swearing. Not too sure what I think about the Cranks, either. I couldn't decide if they were so exaggeratedly creepy that they were almost comical, or if they were simply creepy. Either way, they are wince-worthy. But I did really enjoy certain characters, especially Thomas, Minho, and Newt. (I don't even know why, but I've loved Minho's character since The Maze Runner.) With fast pacing, awesome scenery, and even a difficult and thought-provoking ethical dilemma, The Scorch Trials was a great sequel.
  • Once Upon a Time (part of Season 3): You probably saw this coming, huh? My sisters and I are quite enjoying this season! We're about halfway through, and lots is happening. Lots. I have a few minor complaints, but most of it is fantastic. Peter Pan. The Wicked Witch. And the development happening in some of the key characters makes me a really happy Oncer. (Is that what they're called? I don't even know.)

Storylines on the page

Only two books this month. To be fair, I am 100 pages into my third book, but seeing as I'll finish it in April, it doesn't count.

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I've heard mixed reviews on this one, so finally I picked it up for myself. And I loved it! The whole cyborg element was a fresh twist on Cinderella, and it was fun to pick out the references to the original fairy tale, such as the old fashioned orange car (aka pumpkin coach). This novel was by turns intriguing, heart wrenching, and adorable. Seriously, I ship Cinder and Kai SO MUCH. With every chapter I finished, I kept wanting to write up a fangirly email to send the author, but then I remembered this was published and I wasn't beta reading a friend's book. For some reason it felt like I was. Anyway. If I starred books, I'd probably give this one four and a half!
  • Paige Turned by Erynn Mangum: This is the final instalment of the Paige Alder trilogy that I started last summer, and it continued to be what the first two books were: fun, lighthearted romance with surprisingly profound moments. Paige is such a relatable character. I was rooting for her all the way. It was great to see her finally doing what she's always wanted to do, and finally dating the "right guy." And the ending was perfect!
Sort of in the reading department--I went to a book faire and scrounged up four books to bring home. Tada!

Clockwise from top left: Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge, Storm Siren by Mary Weber, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and Greatest Adventures by Jules Verne (a 2-book collection including Journey to the Center of the Earth and Round the World in 80 Days.)

I bought Captivating because I enjoyed it so much earlier this year, but didn't have my own copy. Storm Siren because I've heard many people like it, so for a couple dollars, why not? (Also that cover!!) Strange & Norrell because my good friend Sarah recommended it numerous times. And the Jules Verne book because . . . well, mainly because of that delicious old cover. And because owning classics makes me feel smart. Hey, just being honest!

With every book faire I go to, I keep my eyes open for any Diana Wynne Jones books--specifically Howl's Moving Castle--and have had no such luck. This time was just as fruitless in the DWJ department as all the times before. Sigh.

Subplots of my own making

According to my monthly goals, March was to be the month I began drafting (or redrafting, to be more accurate) book 2 of my YA fantasy series. I didn't get as far into it as I might have liked, but considering the circumstances, I'm quite pleased with the 7,786 words I wrote. I'm on chapter three by now. Things be happening, folks.

I feel like I'm starting to hit my stride. The beginning of a writing project is usually the slowest for me--I'm getting used to the story, oftentimes reorienting my brain into drafting mode (instead of editing or planning mode), and figuring out what I'm doing. But I'm beginning to get back into it, and I have high hopes for April's writing.

Once I'm further along--perhaps once I've finished writing this book and started editing--which means like *cough* a year from now?--I may have to write a more in-depth post about sequels. It's so weird to write one! I've been stuck on book 1 for so long, in which I've been able to mentally check off all the techniques and elements needed in a first book. "Yep, this sets up that plot thread. Here's the incident that motivates Character A to do this. And there's the foreshadowing for that . . ."

It's all different, and yet all somehow similar, in a sequel. There's a whole book behind you to build on. It's a blessing and a curse, a pro and a con. You don't have to set up everything all over again, yet you have to reference the first book in a clear, concise way that moves this story along. Your characters have grown, so they're better at what they used to struggle with, but at the same time, they're struggling even harder with other things. It's fun, but definitely not easy.

Also in writing news is something I've mentioned already: I was featured in a guest post on Stori Tori's Blog called So Your Character is From Canada. I had tons of fun participating, as well as getting to interact with commenters afterwards. If you haven't checked it out yet, there's lots of great stuff to learn from all three of us who were interviewed! Kudos to Tori for such a brilliant series of posts. There'll be more on other countries yet.

Oh yeah, and I wrote a poem for the first time in months, which you can find here.

And I did a bit more agent research too. The list of potentials is slowly growing . . .

March was a whirlwind, but I'm still alive.

Actually, it was an amazing whirlwind. Tiring on some days, but when I look back on just how much was packed into this month, I'm--what? Content? Excited? Satisfied? Looking forward to April? Is there a word that combines all of the above? I don't know. March was a good month.

So how about your wonderful selves? Was March like a lamb or lion for you--tame or wild? (Or some other animal, such as a platypus. Interpret that creature simile as you wish.) I've blabbered on quite long enough about my own life. Now I want to hear something about yours!

P.S. Today marks one year since Adventure Awaits began! I had grand plans of posting this S&S yesterday, and having a blogoversary post ready for today, but I overestimated the time involved and underestimated my schedule. So hopefully I'll have a late blogoversary thingamajig ready for this weekend sometime. Stick around--it should be fuuuun . . .


  1. I'm not sure if I've asked this before, but is there any chance you will be posting The Brightest Thread piece by piece on your blog? I'd like to be able to read it, and your brother's story as well!
    Congratulations on signing up for the writing course! Can I ask which author is hosting it?
    Wow, a year of Adventure Awaits! I've really been enjoying your blog. Viva Adventure Awaits!
    My March was...a camel. I rode in between its two humps, relaxed by its gentle plodding, but wondering if I could reach my destination any faster. Its shaggy golden hair was quite hot, and I had trouble believing that this warm creature was March. At one point it turned around and spat into my face, but I couldn't stay mad at it for long. It was too cute for that. Goodbye, camel. Thanks for the ride (pats it on the nose).

    1. You haven't asked before, and I'm thrilled that you want to read both stories! As far as posting TBT on my blog . . . That sounds super fun, except that I'd like to expand it into a publishable novel one day, and I hear that publishers like to have "first rights." So I don't know if posting an older, shorter version it online would mess with that. :/ HOWEVER, I would have no problem with you requesting to read it personally via email. (I guess it's a bit late for beta reading, so we could call it--what comes after beta? Gamma reading? XD)

      I suppose I could have been more specific. XD It's The Creative Way, a new course offered by Ted Dekker. Sign up was open for only ten days, the deadline of which has passed, but from the sounds of things, he'll open registration again later on in the year. I'm quite excited to see what he has to teach. :)

      Awww, thank you! *hugs* You've been such a blessing and encouragement! Thanks for everything.

      Oh my goodness, A CAMEL. xDDD That's hilarious! But ah, such a detailed metaphor, I love it. I hope the spitting in your face translates to only a mild event, and not anything terrible. (But seriously. That's a fabulously creative word picture.) Glad to hear you had a good March.

    2. Will you be putting back in everything you had to edit out to fit the word count? Or will you be re-working it completely? Either way, I'd be happy to Gamma read, if you like.
      What about your brother? Is he going to turn his into a full novel also?

      Ah, you often mention Ted Dekker. That's awesome that you'll be able to learn from him.

      Yes, a camel. The spitting incident was fairly mild, all things considered.
      That was a fun writing exercise! I think I'd like to do that again.

    3. I'll likely put back some of it. (But some of what I cut was fluff that didn't need to be there.) The biggest additions will be new stuff. Expanded storylines, more subplots, greater obstacles, etc. :)

      Gamma reading is up to you! Whether you want to read the current version, or wait however many epochs until I write the longer version, or simply not read it at all--the choice is yours.

      I think he is planning on expanding it. I know he has ideas to make a six book series of seemingly unconnected retellings that all come together in the final book. :D

      Heheh, I guess I do talk about him lots. XD He's influenced my writing and reading quite a bit.

      Whew, that's good! Spitting camels don't sound like fun. LOL, we could take to describing every month in animal terms. XD

  2. I loved what you said in the first paragraph. Life is definitely like that! I think my month was akin to a cat. Usually lazy and meandering, but with a few bouts of unexpected crazy attacking. Not a bad month though!

    THE WEDDING PHOTOS. <333 I just love weddings, and that couple looks ADORABLE. Nothing at all went wrong for the whole thing? WOW. That has to be a record or something. o.o That's wonderful news! Also, you look soooo pretty. LOVE those bridesmaid dresses!

    Wait a minute, Rahab most likely married one of the guys she hid in her house? THAT IS SO SWEET. I love, love, LOVE finding surprises like that in the Bible.

    Oooh, you joined in on a writing course? TRACEY. That's awesome!!! Eeeeeee!!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU. AND college? ACK. So many awesome changes in the horizon. It's going to be AMAZING, I just know it! :D

    I loved the movie Epic! It was...epic! (Har har, you're soooo funny, Christine. *rolls eyes*) But seriously, it was an adorable movie.
    I haven't seen The Scorch Trials yet. I've read the book, just haven't gotten around to the movie. I just can't seem to get into that fandom no matter how hard I try... It's a shame.
    And obviously I'm excited about your Once Upon a Time watching. ;D Also we are called Oncers, yes!

    WAIT. TRACEY. YOU READ CINDER???? *SQUEALS* Do you know I've spent the last two months reading through that entire series?? I JUST finished the last book, Winter, two nights ago! I've been OBSESSING over the series. I read Cinder a couple years ago and loved it, but never got around to getting the rest of the series. But one day I just decided to splurge and get them ALL because I enjoyed Cinder so much. So I've been reading the whole series together and having the best time and just I LOVE THIS SERIES. It's become one of my favorites! The 2nd book, Scarlet, is good, though honestly it's my least favorite of the series. But then the 3rd book, Cress, is my faaaaavorite! And of course the finale, Winter, was fabulous. Also, also, there are a bunch of short stories the author wrote that I felt are kind of important to read in between certain books. It gets all super complicated and you might already know all this stuff, but if not I can email you or something and break it down for you. I'm sorry. I've just literally been obsessing over this thing for the past couple of months, it's like been my world. So seeing you just read Cinder blows my mind and got me WAY too excited. I had to blink and read that a couple of times before I knew I wasn't just imagining things. Lol! But I'm hushing now, I am!

    That's so cool you got Storm Siren! I've been wanting to try it for the longest. You must tell me what you thought once you've read it!

    Nearly 8k words is a WONDERFUL start to your sequel! Keep it up, you're doing great! :D

    I'm so happy to hear you had such a great March! AND IT'S ADVENTURE AWAITS'S BIRTHDAY? EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY! This is one of my favoritest blogs on the planet and I cannot wait for another year of all your amazing posts! ^_^

    (Good grief, I know I do long comments but this is getting ridiculous. You do not have to comment to all of this if you don't want to! I need to learn to compress things...)

    1. A cat! Lolzy, that's a perfect analogy! All lazy and indifferent, and then wham, an unexpected hissy fit. XD (Hey, was your cat month anything like the dearest cat in all of bookish history, Sir Eanrin?)

      I love weddings too. And gosh, yes, they're PERFECT together. ^___^
      Well, there was maybe a hiccup or two during decorating the day before, but really nothing major at all. It was pretty astounding.
      D'aww, thank you! <3 (I have yet to master the art of curling my own hair, so having someone do it for me made me feel all princess-y.)

      Isn't it the coolest?? I adore the idea of Rahab, a prostitute redeemed and used by God, marrying an Israelite spy. A guy she hid on her roof. Like--that's just so perfect.

      I did! And it is! And as soon as I have some free time, I want to dive into the course materials. :D Yes, there's so much coming up in life, and after lots of uncertainty, it's awesome to finally have an idea of what direction I'm going. So exciting!

      But it IS epic! (I have totally joked about the title numerous times too.) The snail/slug duo has the best lines. XD
      I'm the opposite, in that I've watched the movies but haven't picked up the books yet. I haven't gotten as into it as, say, The Hunger Games, but the movies have been (more or less) good so far.

      Oh my stars. (Ha. See what I did there?) You were just reading The Lunar Chronicles?? HOW in the WORLD do we do this so often? This brain twins thing? o.o :D I can definitely see you enjoying the series, or at least Cinder (since I haven't read further yet). I need to pick up Scarlet sooooon. And yes, I've heard about the short stories, and I think I saw a list online for what order they all occur in. So you would recommend reading the short stories in between the novels?

      For some reason I thought you'd read Storm Siren already. Huh. Don't know where my brain got that from. XD

      Thank you!! ^_^

      AND THANKS AGAIN! I can hardly believe it's been an entire year! Eeep, you're terribly sweet, Christine. And for the record, your blog is one of MY favoritest. <3

      (Haha, girl, you know I love long comments! And when the post itself is starting to look like a novella, they're even more acceptable. XD You make me smile every time.)

  3. I was excited when I saw your name listed in the top ten, you totally deserved it! I agree, that is an AWESOME way to start the month :D.

    The pictures of the wedding are amazing, I love all the pretty dresses! Your friend and her husband look so happy together :).

    Ooo, you signed up for a writing course? That's so cool! Which author is it?

    I remember watching Epic, that movie was fun :D. Ooo, you bought Storm Siren? You'll have to let me know what you thought of it when you finish reading it! And I totally agree, the cover is INCREDIBLE.

    7,786 words is great! I'm glad you were able to write so much with everything else that happened in March :). You're researching agents already?! That's SO cool :). Have you found any good ones? I SO hope you're able to get your book published.

    My March was a dragon. Well okay, no, no it wasn't like a dragon at all. I just really like dragons :D. Also, I watched Fellowship Of The Ring during March. Don't know why that means anything, I just had to say something about it XD.

    Can't wait for the blogoversary celebration!

    1. Awww, Savannah, you're so encouraging and supportive! Thank you. :)

      I was really pleased with my bridesmaids dress. The color is actually something all four of us could pull off. And yes, those two were SO happy on their wedding day! <333

      It's Ted Dekker's new course called The Creative Way. I'm rather eager to get started!

      I'll for sure let all you questers know how Storm Siren is!

      Thanks! I guess the word count isn't too shabby, considering March. As for agents, that's hard to say. I've scribbled down some that look promising... Hopefully I can write up a good query this month! >.< Ack, girl, have I said already that you're super sweet??

      DRAGON. So your month was fiery and fast and smelled like smoke? And maybe involved gold? XD I love dragons too, as I'm sure everyone around here knows quite well. YOU WATCHED TFotR??? Was it for the first time? I just saw it my first time in February. So good!!

      Me too! I'm sadly having to delay it longer than anticipated. :(

    2. You are perfectly welcome :).

      Ooo, Ted Dekker? That's so cool! I haven't read any of his books yet, but I've heard good things about them.

      You're going to write a QUERY?! That sounds ... well, a little bit scary :D. I'm cheering for you!

      It was my first time to fully watch it, and my parents and two of my younger sisters watched it as well. It was SO good, we all loved it :). I absolutely CANNOT wait until we can watch the next two!

      That's alright, I can wait :). I bet it will be fun!

    3. Oops, comment wasn't done XD. I meant to add, what did YOU think of TFotR?

    4. He's an incredible author. His books *are* rather intense, though, and it seems that people either love them or stay far away. XD I usually say that the Circle series is a good place to start (Black, Red, White, and Green). :)

      WELP, YES. And oh my lands, it is a bit scary. XD Thanks so much for cheering me on! It's comforting to have people in my corner.

      That's awesome! I can't wait to see the next two either! I ADORED TFotR. It was even better than I expected. When the credits began to roll, I looked over at my brother and said, "Can we watch it again?" Seriously, I can hardly express my love for the movie. <3

  4. It sounds like you had a great month! Congrats about making the finalist list! :D Yay! You liked Cinder too! I'm on the last chapter and I really really enjoyed it. ^ ^ March was definitely a lion for me. I'm glad it's over. XD Looking forward to April! Thanks for the shout out for So Your Character is From Another Country!

    1. It was quite the whirlwind, but a good one, yes. :) Thanks so much!!

      That's right, I remember seeing that you were reading it too. Can't wait for your review!

      Blegh, lion months are difficult. I hope April is more like a kitten for you. ^_^ (I feel like that's a lame metaphor, but the sentiment is genuine.) And no problem, that series is fabulous! It's definitely worth spreading the word about. :D

    2. Hey I love kittens, so it's a good metaphor to me. ^ ^ Thank you! I can't wait for the NZ edition coming up in a couple weeks. ^ ^

    3. Me too. ^ ^ Kittens are such adorable little fluffballs.

      New Zealand! Ahhh! That's on my travel bucket list. Can't wait to hear from some Kiwis. :D

  5. Just so you all know, the blogoversary post is planned for Sunday evening. I'll be gone this weekend, hence the delay. My apologies!

  6. You look lovely as a bridesmaid! I think it's Oncer, I'm not sure but I'm one too! Looks like you had a great month.

    1. Why thank you! I felt like royalty. :) *hugs fellow Oncer* I sure did. Hope your April is fantabulous, Skye!

  7. The way you described life is PERFECTION. Life is so wonky like that. XD

    Have I told you before how proud I am of you for being a finalist? BECAUSE I AM SO. PROUD. And also ecstatic. If anyone deserved a place in the finalists, you certainly did. Your stories are beyond amazing. go, girl. <3

    "Weddings? I love weddings! Drinks all around!" (Pirates of the Caribbean does things to me, I'm sorry. XD) My goodness, those picturesss <3 I absolutely adore weddings, and you all look gorgeous in your beautiful dresses.

    Also, that is SO COOL about Rahab! I had no idea that she married one of the spies. O.O As weird as this sounds, I find that rather adorable. ^_^

    OH MY GOODNESS ALL THE DECISIONS. You are so brave jumping into the wide world of college applications, querying, and writing courses. I'm so amazed/thrilled/I-don't-even-know-what. Awesomeness!

    Ooh, I really want to see Epic! It looks so cute and hilarious and all-around fun. I may just have to give it a go one of these days!

    I'm sooo jealous of you for owning that Jules Verne collection. LOL, owning gorgeous hardback classics makes me feel smart, too. XD

    Woohoo for all the writerly happenings! I'm proud of myself for cranking out 657 words last night. I know it sounds awfully trifling, but I've been crazy busy and haven't had the chance (or motivation, let's be honest here) to write lately. It made me so happy to finally write again! (And I think I've now become hooked on word wars now. I literally had no idea what I was writing when I sat down at my computer. I just set the timer and started writing. Surprisingly, it was really enjoyable!)

    Phew, that was a long comment! I just love these peeks into your life. There are so many awesome things in store for you! Let's shoot for a spectacularly spectacular (my vocabulary is apparently depleted at the moment) April! AND HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY. EVEN IF IT IS THREE DAYS LATE. *throws confetti belatedly*

    1. MARYYY! *glomples*

      Wow. I have no words. Just imagine me beaming through the screen at you, sweet friend. <3

      Ahaha, POTC! XD Thanks so much--I love getting all gussied up. It's too bad gowns aren't everyday style anymore, like in Pride and Prejudice...

      Oh, I find it adorable too! How perfect, right? I can just imagine their first encounter, when she hides him and his fellow spy on her roof and then deceives the king's men.

      LOL, funny how all those things converged in one month.

      You haven't seen Epic? Mary! You'd love it! It's beautiful and fun and hilarious and even heartwrenching at one part. (And Josh Hutcherson voices the main guy, Nod.)

      *snickers* Glad to know it's not just me who feels intelligent when in possession of classics. XD There's something about the elegant covers and famous tales contained therein...

      657 words in one sitting--after a time of no writing--is so great! Go you! *waves pompoms* Every word written builds momentum. Okay, I have to confess: I hear tons about word wars, but have never participated in one before. Do you compete against the clock or against other writers?

      Aww, I'm glad you enjoy S&S! They're rather fun to write. Aye aye, a spectacularly spectacular April is what we shall aim for. Thanks for the blogoversary wishes! (I'm even later in properly celebrating it, so...)

    2. Glomples...I love that. XDDD

      Ack, yes! Let's start a campaign to bring back regency dresses. (Though to be honest, I would probably be missing my jeans and hoodie after a couple days. XD)

      So perfect! I absolutely love that story. (One of my all-time favorites, however, is the story of Esther. Gosh, I love it so!)

      I KNOW, IT'S A CRIME. I feel a epic hole in my life without it. (Hehe, see what I did there? I'm brilliant. *pats self on back*)

      I'm rather proud of it, even if most people wouldn't be. I personally just compete against the clock. I'll start a timer and just start writing, trying to get as many words out as I can during that period. I've heard that a lot of people do it against other writers as well, but I haven't actually done that before. Word wars are now one of my favorite ways to write. I have no idea what I'm going to write when I sit down, but I've come up with some of my best scenes so far by doing it. (And gosh, now I'm just rambling...)

      We pride ourselves in being fashionably late, I s'ppose. *nods*

    3. A campaign, yes! XD Though, like you, I'm far more comfortable in jeans and a sweater. An ideal world would have *both* in style! Now how paradoxical would that be--jeans next to regency gowns?

      Esther! I love her story so much.

      *pats you on the back too* Yes. Yes, I see what you did there. XD

      That's an excellent idea, competing against the clock. I would say that I should try it out, but coincidentally, I kind of already have! I'm using a writing app on my phone to time my writing sessions and record my word count. It's fun to see what my words per hour is, and very motivating. :) I find myself rejecting distractions because I can't pause the timer, and I don't want to throw off the stats. XD

      But if we're wizards, we're never late. ;)


  8. I love your starting paragraph. Months can be one or the other, and March is normally the latter!

    This was a lovely post. CONGRATS ON THE CONTEST! I know how much work you put into that story. So, so, so well done!

    I too was at a lovely wedding on Saturday (aren't weddings a joy?). Yours (well, not YOURS, but you know what I mean!) looks beautiful, and so do you as a bridesmaid! (And also not as a bridesmaid. One of my friends was bridesmaid on Saturday and everyone came up to her saying "you looked beautiful yesterday!" and she was like "but what about today?!" XD )

    I'm not sure whether I knew that about the spy, but it is so cool! Aand Rahab was Boaz's mother, right? As in Ruth? (I love Ruth.)

    Wow, glowing review of Cinder! I'm going to read it very very soon. And your books are gorgeous. I have Jonathan Strange though I've not read it yet, and I have a few editions of books like your Verne one.

    Congrats on your writing and also signing up the course, that's so exciting! Do you know what you're doing at college / where you're going?

    Have a lovely April!

    1. What is it about March? Such a flurry of activity. Speaking flurries, April has seen fit to begin itself with the snowy variety this year. Phooey.


      Weddings are such fun, yes. (And your parenthetical sentences are making me laugh. XD That's hilarious.)

      Yep, Rahab and Salmon had Boaz, who married Ruth. What an intriguing family line! I love Ruth as well--she was so faithful.

      *bounces in seat* You should, you should, you should! And then let me know what you think of it!

      Thank you! I am rather excited about it all. ^_^ I do know what I'll be doing for school--this year, anyway, and what comes after remains to be seen, as it's a one-year thing. I think I'll post about it once I've actually, officially, sent in my application. ;)

      You as well, Em! (*blinks* Apparently you have a nickname now. Unless you object.)

      (And because parentheses are really quite enjoyable, I'm using them again to say I still mean to drop by Ink, Inc. and comment on stuff! Especially the Dragon Loyalty Award and your recent vlog!)

    2. Ashley ([insert title here]) thinks it's called March because it's always marching on, and I think that's a good theory!

      (I'm glad my parentheses amuse so much.)

      Ruth is a babe. And yes, I will read Cinder!

      Ooh, OK, sounds mysterious, I look forward to reading the post ;)

      Apparently I do! Fun fact, I actually used to object to Em but then I realised that if 85% of your followers are American/Canadian, you WILL get nicknamed and there's no point fighting it. So I've embraced it. (It's quite cute, actually. I mean, it's really cute that you feel you know me well enough to give me a nickname. I love that. <333)

      (I LOVED YOUR VLOG COMMENT. It made my day!)

    3. That is definitely a plausible theory. Ashley is on to something.

      (They DOOO.)

      *claps happily*

      I hope it doesn't end up being less amazing than the mystery makes it sound. XD

      Are nicknames that distinctly an American/Canadian thing? Really? (If so, I had no idea.) Lolzy, "Em" just slipped out! Maybe after watching your vlog, I know you well enough to call you anything. Kidding! But yes, I love nicknames too. As long as they're nice ones. I myself have accumulated only a few: mainly Trace, Tracer, and Tracinator (that one was bestowed upon me by my former youth leader), and also various terms of endearment by my parents (like Tracey-love). XD

      (YAY! <3 I shall reply to your reply at some point in the hopefully near future.)

    4. Ha, I feel that. I hate when something is a "secret" or whatever and you get really stressed that it's not going to be a good enough reveal in the end XD

      No, definitely not (I have about a gazillion, ranging from Blue to Stephen), buuut I think it's an unBritish thing to nickname someone without knowing them quite well / asking / most nicknames come from, like, an event? As in, obviously, Blue and Stephen and most of my others are not a corruption of my name, they have distinct routes. I do have lots of name corruption ones (many variations on Mems being the common theme), but only from really close friends. So, like, I personally would not shorten Alexander to Alex without being told / hearing lots of other people do it / asking him first.

      I think that explanation was far too long.

      Basically what I'm saying is, very few people would call me Em without a precedent because it just kinda isn't done.

      (BUT I DON'T MIND!!!!)

      I hope we've all learnt something today, Tracinator.

    5. I know, right?? XD

      Ah, that makes sense. You're so polite. XD Here--or at least in my circles--people might get nicknames whether there's a reason or not. So intriguing! I hope you don't mind all my inquiries about this sort of thing. It's just endlessly fascinating to me. So no, that explanation was perfect. :)

      Glad you don't mind! I think Em is going to stick. ;D And yes, we have indeed learned something, Blue/Stephen/Em.