Sunday, May 1, 2016

Subplots and Storylines - April 2016

Somebody needs to tell me how in the world we're one-third of the way through 2016. Because we can't possibly be that far into the year! Nevertheless, my calendar usually doesn't lie, unless I forget to flip it, which I didn't, so it must be true.

By the by, I do realize this post is a day later than normal, and for that I apologize. But last night I was too zonked from a crazy weekend at work, and I was rather firmly imprisoned by the pages of the book I was reading . . . So I decided to put this off one day. You all don't mind, right? (If you do, I shall unleash that dragon I keep in my basement.)

Anyway, I don't think April was quite as flurrysome* (shh, that's a word--I just made it up) as the past couple of months have been. It wasn't quiet by any stretch of the imagination, but it was more normal, I guess.

*It was, however, flurrysome in the sense of wintery weather. Who gave April permission to sprinkle snow on us, then warm up enough to melt it, then snow again? Bleeeegh. I think it's actually spring now. I'm currently sitting on my porch and enjoying the sunshine and birdsong.


The month began with a retreat involving my college & career group along with my two middle siblings' youth group. Mixing high schoolers and young adults does actually work, wonder of wonders. We rode in a bus to the same lovely camp we went to last time. It had been November (2014, I think?), and it had snowed. This time it was April, and it still snowed.

Some of the highlights from the retreat:

  • Playing Balderdash (which was an overdue delivery on my youth leader's long-ago promise that we would play it . . . IT WAS FABULOUS AND WORTH THE WAIT).
  • Splitting up and putting on hilarious skits. My group came up with one loosely based off of this video, but with way more characters involved:

  • Sledding on an inner tube down a wooden slide in the bitterly cold wind.
  • Staying up late to watch a movie.
  • Finding out the speaker had been mentored by my late (honorary) grandfather.

On a different note, I'm buying my first car! My dad and I spent an afternoon doing a thorough cleaning of it. It's going to be great to have my own wheels--up until this point, my parents have been generous enough to give me use of one of their vehicles for work and such, but with my brother soon graduating, he will be needing it. So finding this car at this particular time is an answer to prayer! I don't have it in my possession yet, but it should be ready sometime in May.

We celebrated a few birthdays in the family. (April is birthday central around here, my goodness.) Thus, we had some special celebrations at home, as well as family gatherings to attend.

I sent off my blogoversary giveaway prize, which recently arrived at Anna's place. Yay! Check out her pictures HERE. Seeing them gave me the warm fuzzies.

I got promoted at my job just last week! It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but I know it's going to be good.

That's a little peek at the happenings of life this month. Now it's on to all the bits of story I watched, read, and wrote!


The Help // This is the one I watched at the retreat. I quite enjoyed it! There were a couple minor things the movie could've done without, but other than that, it was a moving story of how black maids were treated in 1960's America. (Hint: terribly. I wanted to punch certain characters for the way they treated their servants.) Skeeter, a young journalist, sets out to show the world the truth about the maids' life. The maids themselves risk an awful lot to get the story out.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End // Watched this with my brother one evening. Hilarious! The PotC movies are ones you don't really expect much depth from--just laughs and epicness, which it definitely delivered. The plot was so convoluted, I could barely follow it in the first half, but Jack Sparrow's hilarity made up for it. "Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."

Once Upon a Time (4 episodes of Season 3) // It seems my sisters and I are going through this show a lot slower than we used to. That's okay, though--we're savoring it. Almost finished with the third season, and I do not like the Wicked Witch.


Merlin's Blade - Robert Treskillard // I've seen this trilogy around many times, and finally got around to reading the first book. It took me close to half the month to read it, which was mostly due to my schedule and only partially due to the book's slower pacing. I feel like I would've enjoyed it more had I read it more quickly.

But it was pretty cool that Treskillard blended the historical and fantasy genres, and as the story progressed, I started to form theories about how things will play out in the next two books. Another thing I liked: Merlin is almost blind, which is unusual, and I felt the author dealt with it well and figured out other ways to relate setting and action. Also, I hadn't expected that King Arthur would be an infant. Most stories seem to have him all grown up already.

Knightley Academy - Violet Haberdasher // My brother recommended it to me, and for very good reason! It's the rollicking tale of Henry Grim, a servant who gets the chance to sit the Knightley Academy exam. He passes (spoiler alert!--not really, though, since it takes place early on and the title pretty much confirms that particular bit of the plot), and finds himself befriended by two other commoners in a school full of the sons of posh nobility.

The book takes place in an alternate history of 1700's Victorian England, which is awesome. I loved reading about Henry and Co.'s misadventures, and there's just something about a slightly fantasy-ish school novel that I find charming. I mean, Latin and fencing and medicine and miserly teachers and kindly teachers and creepy tapestries and a mystery and detestable bullies . . . What's not to enjoy?

And let's just take a minute to talk about the characters. Henry was wonderful! So practical and level-headed for a fourteen-year-old, yet with a tender heart and a lovable underdog-ness about him. Besides Henry, Adam has got to be my favorite. He's also a commoner, and he's Jewish, which is yet another reason for his rich classmates to tease him. He also has a great sense of humor. (Although half the time he's funny without trying to be. His whining somehow comes off as endearing rather than annoying.) Then there's Rohan, an Indian orphan raised by rich white parents. He has the manners of a gentleman, and his voice of reason is just what Henry and Adam need to keep them in check. And lastly, Francesca--or Frankie, as this tomboy prefers to be called. Her father is head of Knightley Academy, and she's been kicked out of so many schools, she finally has to get a tutor at Knightley. Unladylike, spunky, and mischievous to the bone, she does her fair share of troublemaking.

I've gone on long enough about this book, but seriously, it was fabulous. And clean, too!

The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater // You can blame this book for the lateness of S&S. I got home from work yesterday and read it for hours. I hardly ever read for so long at a time anymore, but in the space of last week, I binge-read the last half of Knightley Academy on Sunday and the last half of The Raven Boys on Saturday. So fun.

But about the actual book: Emily from Ink, Inc. and I were having a discussion (on one of my posts, if I remember correctly), and she very highly recommended I read The Raven Cycle, then proceeded to logically and passionately explain all the reasons why. Convinced by her and also by Cait's frequent fangirling over Maggie Stiefvater, I decided to try it out.

Firstly, Maggie Stiefvater's writing is gorgeous. She has an amazing way with words. It's like art in word form. Not only that, but her character development is top-notch. I am thoroughly in love with Blue, Gansey, Adam, Noah, and even Ronan. Their depth and individuality were so real, which made the relationships and interactions fabulous. Honestly, they're the reason I liked this book so much.

And, just as Emily promised, there were good themes of wealth and class mixed in. Quite thought-provoking, actually. (ADAM BROKE MY HEART, OKAY.) So all of this plus an epic journal and a small town and questing for a dead Welsh king and pretty scenery and a baby raven and ley lines made for a great story.

My only quibble is the language--I was a bit surprised to find it there, and it cropped up more frequently than I would've liked (though not as often as some books out there). The F-bombs especially were unnecessary, as were a couple of crude jokes. I have to admit that a smattering of the language was in keeping with Ronan's character, but he wasn't the only one using it, so . . . I don't know.

Blue comes from a family of psychics, which didn't bother me much, interestingly enough. I think it's like what Emily told me: it's done in more of an urban fantasy style than one of realism, so it feels more like magic than anything else.

Bottom line: loved the story, loved the writing, could've done without the language, and will definitely be reading the rest of the series! (Thank you, Emily!!)


This was a rather nice month writing-wise! I wrote 12, 962 words in The Prophet's Key, bringing the total up to 20,748. It's kind of mindboggling to think that, if this were a novella for a Rooglewood contest, I'd be over the word limit . . . and yet the plot is just barely beginning. (Yeah. I may have some pacing issues to fix when editing. Things are happening quickly enough, but there's still scenes I know I forgot to put in there. So obviously it will need to be streamlined somehow. But we're saving the editing for later, aren't we, Tracey?)

I've been struggling a bit with this book so far, but I think I may have found the key--oh, wait. A pun. Haha. Anyway, I think I figured out what my main problem is, which I discussed in an impromptu post HERE. I haven't had a chance to write much since that discovery, but I'm hoping that the words will start to flow this month.

I've been writing in mostly small increments whenever I have the time, but I did have one serious writing day this month, during which I wrote about 2700 words. I know that's not a lot compared to authors who do this thing all day, every day, but considering that I haven't had much chance to work on my stamina recently, I was quite pleased.

In other writing-related news, I started that writing course by Ted Dekker I've talked about--The Creative Way. This month I've gone through the first four sessions, which is far slower than I intended. But that's okay, because I'd rather absorb the lessons fully than rush through them. In between the sessions, I've been reading The Creative Way Meditations, a devotional-type book included in the course. Both the audio sessions and the book have already been so helpful. It feels like my eyes are opening and my vision is sharpening.

This first module (out of three) deals with the foundations of who we are and who God is, and what that means for us as writers. It's incredible! I'm sure you'll be seeing more posts in the future inspired by what I'm learning. And once I finish the next two sessions, I'll be starting Module 2, which is all about the craft of writing.

Between all the drafting and session-ing, I somehow forgot to continue researching agents to query. Oops. I did look into one small press that I'll put on my list, but other than that, zippo progress this month. I'd like to finish compiling my first list in May, however! My my, but I'm being ambitious. But seriously, though, it would be awesome to be ready to send out my first batch of queries in a month or two. (Hold me to it, guys!)

Farewell April, and hello to a bright May.

You know how I described life in March as running at a breakneck pace down the street? I think April loped along at a steady jog. I'm still amazed at how much can happen in one month. But there were, thankfully, moments I could stop and just breathe before plunging into the next thing.

(Still, I think someone needs to implement a three day weekend, and not just for long weekends. A two day break, often just one day because of work, isn't long enough!)

Now tell me where your quests took you this month! What roads did you travel, either in life or on the page? Have any of you played Balderdash? Or read/watched anything I mentioned? And is it really and truly spring now--have we gained a safe distance from winter, so that we're no longer in danger of it making a comeback? Pass around the chocolate chip cookies, and let's chat.


  1. Ooh! I've played Balderdash! Although not for a tragically long time. Have you ever played Malarkey? It's very similar. I love games that make me laugh. :)

    Sounds like you've had an eventful month! Time does fly, doesn't it? It makes me almost upset sometimes, but overall I guess it's a good thing.

    1. No, I've never played Malarkey, but it sounds fun! When I was playing Balderdash, another group across the room was playing What? and what I overheard was very amusing. XD

      It does fly by! Makes me feel old to say it, but it really does seem to go by faster the older you get.

  2. Tracey. You have a DRAGON in your basement?! Can I come visit you right this minute?!

    You got promoted AND you're getting a car?! That's incredible, Tracey! *applauds you loudly*

    You wrote 12k words. How even. If you can't tell, I didn't write terribly much in April :D. Could have to do with the fact that I got sick, but at least I got a bit of editing done!

    Most of the stuff I read last month was either stuff I was beta-reading or stuff I was reading to review. And all of the stuff I read was AH-MAZING, so I'm quite happy :D. And the only stuff I watched (well, re-watched) was LotR ... not like I'm complaining :D. Did you watch the rest of the movies in the trilogy yet, Tracey?

    1. Come on down! He won't bite. That is, if I remember to feed him before you visit. XD

      Thank you! Pretty exciting stuff happening 'round here. :)

      Aww, you were sick? That's no fun at all, and it definitely puts a damper on writing. (I myself can hardly string a sentence together when I'm under the weather.) I hope you're getting better! *sends you tea and cookies* That's awesome that you still managed to edit!

      Ooh, fun! I am so behind on that myself, it's not even funny. :P A THOUSAND HOORAYS FOR LOTR!! And no, I haven't watched any more of them yet! This month--hopefully--I'll see The Two Towers.

    2. Well ... well, as long as you're SURE he won't bite ... *puts snacks for dragon into pocket, just in case*

      *accepts tea and cookies* *nibbles on cookie* Thank you! We're all feeling a lot better around here, and my novella has gone through half of its first edit :).

      Ooo, you really need to watch TTT! That movie is SO good (well okay, they all are, but still!)!

    3. Snacks are a good idea. He's still working on his manners. ;)

      That's great to hear! Wow, half of the first edit is done? Go you! *cheers*

      I reeeaaally do. *faints from lack of LotR*

  3. Congrats on the new wheels and mobile freedom! :)

    I LOVE Balderdash!! It's my favorite!!

    Sounds like you've had a great month! I've been... editing. Pretty much that's all. But now I'm on vacation, so I'm getting a nice break and seeing lots of friends, so that's fun!

    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to actually having my car sometime this month. ^.^

      Isn't it so FUN? My brother was playing with us, and I kept choosing his definitions. (Darn it. XD)

      Editing can be an all-consuming practice. *nods sagely* Oh, enjoy that vacation! That sounds wonderful. Happy May to you!

  4. It truly is spring now. Trust me, I work at a garden center...Booming blooms everywhere with the Mother's Day madness, that sort of thing.
    While we're on the subject of work- congratulations on your job promotion!

    I like the foundation of the writing course! It may not seem to have anything to do with writing, but it's actually such a key element.

    1. I never knew you work in a garden center. That's so neat! (I love the smell of greenhouses and growing things.) I can imagine it would be CRAZY busy right about now. XD
      Thank you! It hasn't quite sunk in yet.

      It most certainly is a key element. Knowing who we are in Christ, and reminding ourselves of that power, is what will inspire us, break down writer's block, and bring our writing to a whole new level. ^_^

  5. Sounds like you had a great April! Mine was pretty busy, but the busyness was totally worth it since it resulted in so many fun things. :)

    1. I did, thanks! :) FUN busy is the best kind of busy to have. What were you busy doing?

    2. Yes, I agree, fun busy is the best kind of busy. :)

      We did a ton of things, including having cousins visit, having my mom's college friend and her family visit, having some very dear friends visit, visiting some other very dear friends, preparing for and having a social event for the families of the men at my dad's work, getting our house inspected before we move, and generally more craziness. :) But it was all fun and completely worth it. :D

      Quick question: Are you planning on publishing The Brightest Thread? Because it sounds amazing and I really want to read it. :)

    3. That sure is a lot of visiting! Sounds like a blast. :) Relationships are one of the most important things in life, so it's awesome when you can spend so much time with people you love!

      Oh my heart, that question made my day! :D You're so sweet. I would love to publish The Brightest Thread someday, but I sense there's a lot more story I could delve into, so I'd like to expand it into a novel first. And currently Journeys of the Chosen is taking all my writing attention (it's bratty like that XD)... But I have unofficially decided that TBT *might* be a good idea for a debut novel if publishing The Prophet's Quest takes oodles more time than expected. Thanks so much for asking, Emily! I would be thrilled to have you read TBT one day. <3

  6. If your skit was based on Studio C then I'm sure it was hilarious. Those guys are so funny! And yay for liking The Raven Boys. I haven't read The Raven King yet (I soooo want to) but the other two books are just as amazing. Haha, so true about POTC. So much fun, but completely confusing at times. Good movies though. Hope May is as good to you as April seems to have been.

    1. It was a blast to put on. I and another guy were a British couple at the restaurant--stereotypically prim and proper, and rather annoyed with our bisque-crazy waiter. XD Do you have a favorite Studio C sketch?

      I'm hearing so much about The Raven King! It makes me eager to keep reading the series.

      Thanks, Imogen, and same to you! I hope your May is splendid. (Thanks for stopping by Adventure Awaits, by the way! :D)

  7. Love Studio C, and you read The Raven Boys, love those books, the language can be a bit much though.

    1. Studio C is the BEST. THE END. XD
      Have you read the last book in the Raven Cycle yet? Hearing the bookworm world flail over it is making me eager to finish the series. :) Though yes, I wish the language had been toned down a bit.

  8. YAY AN UPDATE!! (I know, I've been so absent I've probably missed out on a lot :( but this is prime b/c I feel like I'm somewhat caught up with what's going on in your life :P *even though it's likely a lie*). Also, congrats on your promotion ^_^ that's super exciting!

    I just read The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and L-O-V-E-D it (it was a little slow to develop though). There's been so much hype about The Raven Boys and the coverart is amaazing (and I'm kind of greedy for pretty books), so I'm likely going read it at some point. Maybe when my TBR isn't boiling over (hahaha, that's never going to happen).

    I promise I'll pop by again at some point - just wanted to say a quick halloooo!!! <3

    1. HULLO THERE, SQUEAKS! Good to see you again! I'm glad you enjoyed the little life update--and thanks so much. ^_^

      I'll probably read The Scorpio Races sometime. I know my brother once started it years ago, but put it down. YESH, the Raven Cycle cover art is gorgeous. I'm such a sucker for pretty books too. My excuse is that if I want to display a book on my shelf (which I do), then it should look good, right? Aesthetics are important! And lolzy, when are TBR piles ever NOT boiling over? XD

      Thanks for popping in! <3 I read your newest post the other day--I need to stop by and actually comment on it though.

    2. Well judging by your comment, if you like horses you'll probably LOVE The Scorpio Races (just remember to give it about 3/5ths to develop :P takes a while lol).
      Aesthetics are totally important. Although I'm also a sucker for a good deal, so a lot of the books I own have some battle scars b/c I buy them second hand (I mean, I don't mind a well worn book, as long as the story is good and it isn't missing pages :P - that simply means I can buy several for the price of a hardcover).

    3. I'll have to pick it up at the library sometime! Especially since The Raven Boys sold me on Steifvater's writing style. :)

      True, true. Good deals are very appreciated. There's an annual secondhand book faire in my area, and I've picked up some great finds over the past few years. I got The Hunger Games and The Hobbit for a few bucks each, both in mint condition. And of course there's a number of somewhat battered novels I've collected as well. :) (It's just awesome when you find a pretty book AND it's a deal.)

  9. How are we already in May, Tracey?? I think it's a conspiracy theory. In reality we're still in February or something. *nods seriously*

    Your retreat sounds like it was absolutely delightful!
    Oh man, the Lobster Bisque skit! That was actually one of the very, very first skits by Studio C I ever saw. It may be THE very first one, I'm not sure. But it's just too great! I bet your skit was absolutely hilarious!

    You're buying your first car? EEEEEE!!! SO EXCITING! There's nothing like having a car that's YOURS. I'm thrilled for you!

    Even if you're going slower, you're still making good progress with OUAT. You might catch up with me! I'm so behind on the newer season. But ugh, I do not like the Wicked Witch either. Usually even the villains in that show are lovable but her? BLECH.

    I've been wanting to read ALL the books you mentioned! Merlin's Blade has been on my to-read list for, like, years! I can't believe I still haven't read it. And I think Josiah recommended Knightly Academy to me, too! It sounds delightful. Then The Raven Boys. Gah! I want to read that so bad. But...I think I really need to resist. I'm just not sure I want to subject myself to all that language. Which stinks because I want to read the series so bad. Blergh. Why do authors feel the need to add language? Maggie Stiefvater would have yet another reader if she had avoided the language. *tries not to rant*

    Oh my goodness, Tracey, you got so much written this month!!! I am in awe. That is so fantastic! :D You're so good to squeeze writing time amidst the busyness of your life. A practice I really need to work on. You're an inspiration! Also that course you're taking sounds amazing and I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on it!

    April was a mix of basically EVERYTHING for me. Awesome things, stressful things. It was a crazy month! And gone in a blink. I'm hoping May will slow down a bit but so far it's not looking like it. Ah well, sometimes you've just gotta chase life and enjoy the run. ;)

    1. Oh, CAN we say it's February? Please? But with spring weather? I suppose that's asking too much. XD

      It was lots of fun!
      Lobster Bisque remains one of my favorites of theirs. "The poison is boiled out. OB-viously." (I just really want there to be a bunch of Studio C gifs made. Because I would use them all the time. XD)

      Eeeep, thank you!! It's pretty surreal right now, as I don't have it in my possession yet...but soon!

      Now that would be an accomplishment, catching up with you. ;) I know right? Regina and Rumple, for instance, worm their way into our hearts. But the Wicked Witch? HOW ABOUT NO.

      I think it was Deborah mentioning the Merlin Spiral a few times on her blog that finally prompted me to pick up the first book. :) And yep, I believe Josiah did recommend Knightley Academy to you. Now that both of us are raving, all the more reason to read it. *wink wink*
      As for The Raven Boys... UGH, I REALLY WANT YOU TO READ IT TOO. But yeah, language. :P There were whole chunks of the book with next to none of it, and then it would crop up again for a bit. I'm planning to keep going with the series, so I'll let you know if it ever lessens. Because it's just sad that it has to be there; it does put off certain readers. (But we've had this discussion before. ;)) You would love her writing and characters, though! If only I could buy you a copy and black out all the swears, then ship it to you... XD (And do a copy for myself, while I'm at it.)

      I'm glad it's inspiring! I sometimes feel the progress is so slow--maybe because I have these big, grand goals in my head, and then life doesn't usually work out that way. So it's encouraging to be reminded that this actually IS progress. <3
      I'm thinking of doing a post about the course once I'm finished it, or at least once I midway into the second module (the one about the craft). :D

      A mixed bag, huh? I'm sorry there were stressful things mixed in! One of the awesome things must have been your birthday, so--HAPPY BELATED! (I don't remember if I remembered to say that sooner. If not, I'm so sorry.)
      "Chase life and enjoy the run"--indeed! I love how you worded that. I hope May unfolds into a beautiful month for you, no matter how busy it gets.

  10. It sounds like you had a good month! The first half of April was good for me, but last half well ... I'm glad it's over. You're buying your first car, but I have to buy my second because of a car accident. Not fun especially when I'm starting a new job and worrying about how I'm going to get there every day. It's been stressful. On a good note, yay for story progress! I did Camp NaNo and managed to finish most of one of my books and I finished editing another one. I hope your May is great!

    1. Aww, yeah, I read that in your post. I'm so sorry to hear that you were in an accident! I hope you find a good car for a great price. That can be stressful, especially when circumstances are tight in some way.
      Ooh, what kind of job did you get?

      Awesome writing progress, though! Way to go! I admire how dedicated you are. ^_^

      Hope your May is a complete turnaround from the last couple of months!


    Flurrysome. I approve. *nods* (Also we got a bunch of random cold weather too. o.o What is with this spring??)

    That's so exciting about your car and your job promotion! Yay, Tracey!

    Pirates 3 is, yes, VERY complicated. XD I kind of love that about it... Mostly the music though. GLORIOUS. <3

    Ooh, you read Merlin's Blade! :D Awesomesauce. I agree that it was really cool how he handled Merlin's near-blindness. And YES, baby-Arthur! ^_^ The third book's my favorite (when Arthur's a teen going around being awesome. ;)).

    Hrrmmm... I read Knightly Academy and got really upset at it because it wasn't what I wanted it to be. I know I'm being unfair and I suppose I kinda liked it and a lot was awesome? But I was so upset that there were all those bullies. I honestly don't remember much about the book anymore, but I think I thought that at the KNIGHT academy they should have all been GOOD, KNIGHTLY people, and was just so done with all those people who were nasty to Henry. :( It made me furious. Ahem. But I'm really glad you enjoyed it! :) And come to think of it a lot of it was good... I dunno, it was probably just the wrong time for me to read it. :P

    That's too bad about the language in The Raven Boys (um, whatever happened to YA, people??) but I'm definitely planning to read it all the same... It sounds really interesting and Cait and Lisa and people can be verrry persuasive... and you've now joined that list, so. ;) I'll read it someday!

    OH MY GOODNESS YOU WROTE 13K WORDS HOW ARE YOU SO AMAZING???? *collapses* That's how many words I've written in the last 5 MONTHS (since NaNo). Eeek, you're awesome. :D

    *noms chocolate chip cookies* I... did a post about my month today so I now can't think of anything I did in April. XD

    YAY FOR MONTH WRAP-UP POSTS! I adored this one. Hope you have an awesome May! :)

    1. YOU AND ME BOTH. IT JUST CAN'T BE THIS FAR INTO THE YEAR. Though having spring weather is a nice perk. :)

      Heheh, thankfully that flurrysome weather is behind us!

      Thanks! ^_^ I'm excited!

      Oh, the PotC soundtracks are incredibly epic! I'm fortunate that my brother has a few of them. I think the complexity of the plot will be even more enjoyable when I rewatch #3 one day. *nods*

      Arthur grows up? YAY! I was kind of hoping/suspecting that would happen eventually, but I'm happy to have that confirmed. All the creepy wolves in Merlin's Blade were pretty neat too, come to think of it. (That was somewhat random and probably should've gone in the actual post, but oh well. XD)

      I didn't have any expectations going into Knightley Academy, aside from the assurance from my brother that it was funny, so I was rather pleased. XD But that's no fun when you think you'll get one thing, only to have the book turn out to be something else entirely. I didn't like the bully characters themselves, but I didn't mind their existence in the story. (It seems kind of part and parcel of a school novel, doesn't it?) But yes, I did have wondering thoughts about the lack of knightliness of it all. I mean, aside from the oath of chivalry (which hardly anyone seems to follow) and the fact that they take fencing classes and whatnot. When I first saw the book, I thought it was going to be straight up medieval fantasy, but no. So I see where you're coming from, but it's too bad it didn't click with you!

      *sigh* Really unfortunate, that. You're right, the Stiefvater fans are very persuasive indeed! And I honestly do love the book itself. I have a feeling you'll like Blue and her Raven Boys. ;)

      WELP, I DON'T EVEN KNOW. LITTLE BITS ADD UP, I GUESS? *hugs* You're awesome too!

      I absolutely need to get my virtual self over to The Road of a Writer and finally COMMENT again. I've been terribly lackadaisical about commenting lately. >.<

      Aww, thank you, sweet Celti! I'm glad you liked it. And I adored your comment. <3 I hope your May is splendiferous as well!

  12. *sneaks in late* YOU GOT PROMOTED!! EEP! That's exciting! Your retreat sounds like it was a lot of fun. And you bought a car!! Now you can drive out to see me *grins*.
    I should read the Raven Cycle. I've been on the fence about it for years, torn between adoring Stiefvater's writing and being unsure if I would like the premise with the psychics, and I also knew there was some language in it. If it gets the Tracey Stamp of Approval, though, it must be good. :D
    Have a splendiferous May, and try not to melt in the unseasonable heat! :p

    1. THANK YOU, SARAH! It's crazy how much happened last month. And yes, now I have wheels of my own and they can take me to your place!

      I think you'd really enjoy it. The language is a bit of a bummer, but surprisingly the psychic stuff didn't bother me much. (I still can't decide if it *should* have, if that makes sense.) Like Emily @ Ink, Inc. told me, it does feel more like fantasy magic than anything realistic. There are some tarot cards and fortune telling involved, but not very often. (There was also one scene that seemed kind of like a possession thing, but I think that may be explained in later books.) Overall, though, the superb characters and plot and writing overshadow any issues I had! I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts, should you read it. :)

      Haha, same to you! And wasn't that one day of fullblown summer weather gorgeous?? (Maybe a little much, but I won't complain.)

  13. I LOVE BALDERDASH SO MUCH! Glad you had a good retreat. Mixing young adults and highschoolers DOES work, although I am a highschooler (sort of, I mean I've kinda finished now ... ???) so I still think the students are very old and cool XD

    Love PotC. Also, I hear you about the weather in April?? Sun! Snow! Hail! MADNESS! And today it was 30 degrees here!!!! Which is hotter than it is in summer, like, ever. All very weird.

    TRB TRB TRB!!!! YOU'RE WELCOME! I think "logically and passionately explain all the reasons why" is a bit strong, passionate, yes, but logical? Me? But THANK YOU! Thank you for the lovely shout-outs.

    AND MORE IMPORTANTLY I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVED IT! AGHHH! And you binged it, what a joy <3333 The writing is so gorgeous?! And the characters, "even Ronan" as you say!!!!! And the magic and just-- Ugh. Well. You know now, because you've read it! So I don't need to keep going on about it XD

    RE the language, I hear you, it is a tough one though because it is in keeping with Ronan's character and to me it all feels pretty realistic throughout the series. I would say that the way they speak reflects the vast majority of non-Christian teens in a high school environment, and to be honest, after my own experiences of school I hardly notice the language. I guess I'm desensitised to it, which isn't a good thing but that's what has happened. Maybe as you've been homeschooled by Christians it was more unusual/abrasive to you? Gah but that sounds like a patronising thing to say that's not what I mean! But ... yeah. I don't know. It's a tough question. I've been thinking about it a bit recently. You know A Room Alone, the book I'm planning? I'm really struggling with ideas about swearing, because I myself have never sworn in speech or writing, but with my non-Christian MCs it just feels so unrealistic and ... it is difficult! A really really difficult question.

    Anyway, I'm so so glad you liked it! <3

    1. YOU'VE PLAYED IT TOO? YAY! Ooh, yes, right in the awkward between stage... I don't know how cool the young adults are; to be honest, the youth group has more fun. XD

      We had a 30 degree day not that long ago too. Felt like July, NOT April! The weather is just wonky sometimes...

      Passionate of course, and logical--well, you laid out so many actual REASONS you love TRB, as well as reassuring me on several points that I'm usually suspicious of when it comes to authors I haven't read. So I found it logical. :)

      I DID LOVE IT, AND I'M SO GLAD YOU GAVE ME THE PUSH I NEEDED. Because yes, the writing is absolutely gorgeous, the characters waltzed into my heart and refuse to leave, and just YES TO ALL OF THE PRETTINESS AND EPICNESS. <3 (Speaking of quotes, my desktop wallpaper currently has this quote: "She recognized that strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.")

      It *is* a really tough one. I'm not 100% sure what I think. I would agree that it reflects most of the non-Christian teens out there, and those of us that take issue with it tend to be in the minority. (Which has nothing to do with whether that makes it right or wrong, of course.)
      Haha, no, I know that you don't mean it in a patronizing way! You're right, I'm just not exposed to it as regularly as public school students. (I remember teen summer camps irked me a little because of the way a lot of campers spoke.) Now that I'm in the workforce, and also watching older movies and whatnot, I've noticed I'm getting a bit desensitized as well. Not sure that's avoidable unless you want to be a hermit.
      But GAH, it's such a tricky subject! Especially when you approach it from a writing standpoint. ...You know what, I think this would make a great discussion post sometime. I have a few too many thoughts for one comment. :)

      Thanks again for recommending TRB, Em! <3

    2. I WANT TO PLAY IT RIGHT NOW! Except I don't own it and I think everyone's gone to bed, so, uh, yeah ... *ahem* Awkward in between indeed, because I am still in youth group but I'm technically not really at school but my last exam is tomorrow but I am going to have to come in for art so it's all, ugh, who knows?!

      I'm glad you found logic in the rabid fangirl :) <3

      I LOVE THAT QUOTE! I mean, I had forgotten it, but I love it! It's kinda like hiareth that we were talking about before ...

      I think I probably will write a discussion post on it soon; there are so many angles to consider!

      You're welcome! I feel obligated at this point to warn you that the series gets a bit darker as it continues, and there are definitely some things I can't agree with, but nonetheless it's one of my faves and I love it and I hope you will love the whole thing as much as I do <3

    3. ME TOO. LET'S PLAY TOGETHER. But I don't own it either, so... XD Just give it a few months, and I'm sure you'll start moving out of the in between stage.


      *gasp* It IS. That's perfect. <3

      Please do! And depending how many thoughts your post sparks in my brain, I may have to do a follow up post (with your permission, of course).

      Thanks for the warning. :) I do read some darker books at times, so it may not be unfamiliar territory--but even so, it's good to get a heads up! I hope I love them all too. (I think I will.) <3