(I have been hanging on to that gif for months, just waiting for the perfect moment to use it. This is so fulfilling.)
But I'm kind of lying, because I'm only halfway back. Posts are scheduled for March, but depending on how day camp prep goes, I may not be able to reply to comments until that's all over. Not to fret, I will get to them eventually! And come April, I'll be back for real. Whew, that sounds like a long time from now. But if the next month explodes just like February exploded, it'll pass in a flash.
Subplots of a February Variety
I think just about every week was packed. I had a friend over for a slumber party . . . I attended my church's young adult night (an awesome Valentine's-themed evening about dating relationships) . . . I was a stagehand for a special Valentine's skit at church (basically just carried stools off stage and carried an easel back on) . . . the youth group where I volunteer every other week had a winter formal . . . I volunteered at a big indoor carnival for families, which was tons of fun (did you know Canada gets a long weekend in February?) . . . and attended a business/leadership seminar one evening.
College is full of volunteering, but this month had all kinds of extra stuff, it seems.
In other college news, I did a book presentation on The Purpose Driven Church, a project on which I made a few mistakes that I learned a lot from. Such as:
The way I manage a personal project is not how I should manage a group project. As the lead, I overestimated my group's abilities and started too late, causing us to have to compromise on a couple of things.
Don't assume your team can read your mind!
Don't assume they will push themselves as hard as I push myself. I need to encourage and motivate them.
Stop and think about the why behind the project. Remember the purpose and the people first; the task is secondary.
Oh, and I received my most exotic letter from a friend EVER--it traveled from Kenya!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (rewatch)
Peterrrrr. Gwennnnn. My poor heart. Watching it a second time didn't make the ending less sad (or frustrating, considering there won't be a third movie--thanks, Andrew Garfield). I was also watching it late at night, and was too tired to appreciate the last hour of it.
Once Upon a Time - Seasons 1, 2, and 5
I'm still rewatching season 1 with my siblings, but I started season 2 with my parents, and my sisters and I watched a bit more of season 5. I'm all over the place! But now that I'm in the second season, it's a lot of fun to have Captain Hook around.
The Flash - Season 2
Watched a bit more of this with the sibs too, and it continues to be amazing! Patty Spivot is one of my favorite female characters ever.
On a side note, I just realized that all three pictures up there mirror each other, and all of them included a blonde female. Ha.
I went 25 days without reading a novel. 25 DAYS. I felt a bit lost! But I was reading plenty of nonfiction for school, so that sort of made up for it. (Sort of. Recently I started reading Marissa Meyers' Winter, which now makes up for it completely. Still love mah fiction.) I didn't complete a lot of books this month, but you do read slower when you're taking notes.
The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition // Gary Chapman
I'd heard of the love languages concept before, but it was good to read about it for myself. In case you're unfamiliar, the basic idea is that everyone receives love in different ways: either through words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. It's important to recognize how you receive love, and to see how to best give love to others in a "language" they'll understand.
My whole class took the test, and I confirmed that quality time is my top love language. (Words fell in second--no surprise!)
Self-Improvement 101 and Teamwork 101, both from The Complete 101 Collection // John Maxwell
I'm reading through an eight-book collection of John Maxwell's core leadership principles, and the two parts I read were both amazing! Very easy to read. The info is so condensed, I know I'll be rereading chapters as I need them in the future. The best part is, many of the principles I'm learning here are directly applicable to college.
Technically, I didn't write anything this month. But I did make the decision to set aside The Prophet's Key for the time being, in favor of getting started on the expansion of The Brightest Thread. I had wanted to finish the first draft of TPK completely before switching gears, but I was struggling to get into the right frame of mind. And . . . well, before I explain more . . .
I registered for Realm Makers! Yippee! It's becoming more and more real. My hotel is booked too, but I'm still watching flight prices and hoping they'll come down soon. If not, I'll just have to go for it and buy my ticket. I'm very excited for the learning opportunities a writing conference will bring!
Realm Makers is one reason I switched gears. You remember how I wanted to publish a standalone novel before publishing all the Prophet books? And how that standalone is going to be my Sleeping Beauty retelling? Well, there's the chance to pitch a complete, ready-to-go manuscript to agents and acquisitions editors at the conference, and I'd really like The Brightest Thread to be ready for that! But if I were to plod along for another few months to finish The Prophet's Key, I would have precious little time to write an expanded TBT draft and edit it to my satisfaction--and figure out my pitch--before the end of July. Even starting out now, in February, may be cutting it close.
But I want to put my self-imposed deadline out of my mind, and simply focus on enjoying this story. Enjoying the process. I want to get myself back into a healthy writing place. But that's a post for another day.
In the meantime, what I actually accomplished this month was reading over TBT, both the polished version and the longer first draft, and writing up several pages of notes on what I'd like to expand. There's still work to do: I want to write out a brand new outline, possibly experimenting with the Snowflake Method, before jumping into the actual writing.
I'm looking forward to it! This is one of my favorite stories I've ever written, and it's exciting to think of how it will grow and change in the near future.
Storylines of Growth
February was definitely a month of growing and learning. Some days were overwhelming, but I'm arming myself with what I need to face March--a month that promises to be even more of a stretch!
What have y'all been up to? Tell me all! And while you're at it, what are some ways you gear yourselves up for a busy season of life?