I don't know how it's physically possible, but somehow this month seems even fuller than the last!
November opened with my birthday, which I celebrated a bit differently than other years in order to fit with my school schedule. Later on in the month, we also celebrated my lil' sister's birthday.
I grew a bit more in my public speaking skills: I was called to answer Q&A in one of our communicators meetings, I was the timer for another meeting, and a classmate and I got to preach a mini message to the youth volunteers.
My class and I helped build our church's float for the city's Santa Clause Parade, which was so fun, especially because we also got to participate in the actual parade, walking alongside our beautiful float.
There was a last-minute event I volunteered at, a youth worship night, a youth talent show, Christmas shopping, friend stuff, and my first exam of the year.
And through it all, my little corner of the world disguised itself as London, with miserable rain mixed with melting snow, and some of the densest fog I've ever seen.
Very little this month. I watched the last episode of Once Upon a Time Season 4 with my sisters (oh my goodness, THAT ENDING) and saw some more of Season 1 with my parents.
|(I searched high and low for an image of my copy. This ain't it.)|
Journey to the Center of the Earth // Jules Verne
I wanted to read one of the unread, second-hand books on my shelf, and randomly picked this one. It was more enjoyable than I expected, quite honestly. I remember not totally loving Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea during high school, and while Journey does pause now and then to dump facts on the reader, it keeps a good pace overall. And it was funny! Axel and his enthusiastic uncle, Professor Liedenbrock, make an amusing pair.
[Professor] "Do you remember a visit the famous English
chemist Humphrey Davy paid me in 1825?"
[Axel] "No, I don't. For the very good reason that I wasn't
born until nineteen years later."
Was the book scientifically accurate? Probably not, seeing as it was written in the 1800s, but it was still fun to pretend that Verne's theories could be true, to envision a whole new world beneath the earth's crust. My biggest quibble was the ending. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but let's just say the characters didn't accomplish quite as much as I expected they would.
Prophet // R.J. Larson
I loved it! I haven't read very many fantasies with a Biblical type of setting, so that was neat. I found it especially intriguing to follow Ela's journey as a Prophet of the Infinite, to see how it mirrored real prophets in the Old Testament. She was so compassionate even when she had to communicate the Infinite's judgment on people who deserved it. (That compassion is a trait I need to grow in.) I adored Kien, a charming ambassador who spends a goodly amount of time in prison and has a strong appreciation for food. Ela's little sister, Tzana, was sweet and sympathetic.
The plot slowed down a bit once or twice, or maybe that was just me taking a long time to finish the book. There was another seventy-ish pages after the big climax, so I was expecting a plot twist, but instead I got an abrupt segment of story that might have been better left for the beginning of book two. I also had some thoughts to sort through about the Infinite, who seemed loving but also enforced a works-based sort of faith among His people . . . but then I remembered that this is, in effect, the Old Testament, and a savior is not part of the story yet. (There might be one later in the trilogy?)
Don't let either of those things stop you from reading, though! Prophet is a wonderful, refreshing book that took the fantasy genre down a less well-trodden path. Between readings, my mind kept going back to the story--definitely the mark of a good book.
I felt a lot more productive this month than I have in quite a while! I wrote a poem for the first time in forever,* and wrote 9,497 words in The Prophet's Key. That's more than I've written since college started, so I was happy. I'm close to the halfway point in my outline, too. The villains are gaining the upper hand, so the whole situation is about to change for the worse for my protagonists!
*breaks into song (I listened to the Frozen soundtrack earlier this week, okay?)
I've also set my writing goals FOR THE REST OF 2016 (and a little bit more), so I am super pumped. I want to reach 80k by Christmas, which means writing almost 10k in three weeks. Then the goal is to utilize my Christmas break to add another 20k, which will bring the book to 100k. Then if I can finish the whole first draft by springtime/the end of college/sometime around there . . . I just may have enough time to rewrite The Brightest Thread into a full novel so I have something to pitch at the Realm Makers Conference.
I'm that crazy.
And as I look at the things filling up my December calendar, I'm questioning the sanity of that plan even more. But if you shoot for the moon and miss, you still land among the stars and all that jazz.*
*Except not really. Because the stars are light-years away. So if I miss the moon, you can find me floating aimlessly in space or headfirst in a crater on earth somewhere.
Just trying out a new feature in S&S. We'll see if I have enough material for it each month.
I learned about the DISC personality system in college, and found out that I'm a CSD. To give you some background, D=dominant/driver/determined, I=influencing/inspiring/impulsive, C=compliant/correct/cautious, and S=supportive/stable/steady. A CSD is otherwise known as a Contemplator. Basically, I like to get things done, and get them done well. I'm detailed and logical; have high standards; precise but competitive; sensitive to others around me; a natural peacemaker; etc. Reading through the full descriptions, I was amazed at how accurate most of it was! Now that I know the personalities of my other classmates, I hope to develop better ways to communicate with all of them.
I started experimenting with bullet journaling in an old notebook of mine, just to see if I like it. So far I do, though I'm not quite happy with the layout. Hence the term experiment. Come the new year, if I'm still enjoying the practice, I'll start fresh in a brand new notebook and go from there.