Saturday, August 4, 2018

Subplots and Storylines - July 2018 // ANNOUNCEMENT

The month of July, in its swirl of humidity and heat, seemed to orbit around the gravitational pull of the Realm Makers conference I attended. The first three weeks were full of preparation for the trip, then the conference actually took place, and then I spent the final week recovering!

Life Subplots


Filmed and posted a vlog, because why not put off one's blogoversary celebration until the busiest month of the year, right? (Here's part one and part two.)

Put together my Cinder cosplay, which involved attacking a t-shirt with scissors and genuine mechanic grease and testing out silver face paint on my "cyborg" hand.

Also revamped my one sheet for The Brightest Thread in order to have material on hand for pitch appointments at the conference.

Most importantly, I stuffed myself with as many fresh strawberries and sugar snap peas as possible, because their growing season doesn't last long.

The (In)famous Realm Makers

You might be sick and tired of me and all the attendees raving by now, so I'll spare you a regurgitation of the details and will instead point you back to the link in the first paragraph of this post, in case you missed my recap!


Because yes, an introvert needs to crash after two days of travel and three days of non-stop people. And a lover of words and worlds must somehow step back into real life after being to Narnia and back. Recovery involved sleeping . . . and more sleeping . . . and typing up all my Realm Makers notes* . . . and also watching The Fellowship of the Ring.

*Thirty typed pages of notes, people. THIRTY.

I also just enjoyed summer and played water balloon volleyball and took my siblings to the city for a ride on a surrey bike. It's like a tandem bike, except built for four people and shaped like a golf cart with pedals. Lots of fun! Pedaling uphill is not for the faint of heart. Or faint of legs.

P.S. I had a blast participating in Nadine Brandes's Instagram challenge for the month of July! If you're on Insta, I'd love to connect with you there!

Screen Storylines

Avatar: The Last Airbender season 1
I actually watched five episodes of this with my sisters, which is more than we've seen in a while. We just got to some good backstory for Zuko!

Once Upon a Time season 6
Two episodes of this with my sisters. One of the episodes was deep and interesting and involved Prince Charming. It felt like the Once that I've always loved. But the other episode . . . blegh. A certain person acted very out of character, plus he was played by a different actor. This whole season has been a bit of a mixed bag.

The Fellowship of the Ring
Can you believe this was only my second time watching it? I still get emotional at . . . well, pretty much every part. The Shire, the little hobbits at the start of their adventure, the forming and the breaking of the fellowship, Gandalf and the Balrog, Boromir, Sam swimming after Frodo. MY HEART IS SO FULL. This was my sisters' introduction to Middle Earth on the big screen, so that was even more fun!

Page Subplots

My reading accomplishments were pretty pitiful this month, especially after devouring nine books in June. I read just one book in July. Sniffle. I did start a second, but it's still not finished.

Last of the Nephilim // Bryan Davis

War is coming. In this, the seventh instalment in a story world that started with Raising Dragons, all the heroes gather in Second Eden to face the coming storm. Dragons, giants, prophets, oracles, warriors, healers, the old, the young--all are desperately needed.

What I loved:
  • Elam got lots of time on the page
  • Sapphira had to face the darkness yet again
  • All the action scenes with the plane were great! (Merlin II, is it?)
  • Dikaois--he ranks right up there with horses like Bree from C.S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy
  • Second Eden is such a cool setting!
  • Angel's choice near the climax--I get shivers every time I read that scene
What I didn't like:
  • A very minor complaint. The identity reveal of someone's grandfather didn't seem quite as important as the characters were making it out to be, but maybe I missed a detail, what with my reading time being spread so thin.

Overall, Last of the Nephilim is an epic book that sets the stage for my one of my favorite series conclusions ever: The Bones of Makaidos. 5 stars for this reread!

(Speaking of Bryan Davis, he has a fantastic discount on his books going on until August 5th!)

Writing Storylines

As I mentioned, I did rework my one sheet, so that kind of counts toward writing. Right?

I also edited chapters 3-5 of The Brightest Thread. It's still slow going, but that's all right with me. Some of the editing is dealing with deep-seated story elements, particularly around the beginning, and that always takes longer. This month, I hope to ease into the early/middle chunk of the story, which should be a bit easier to work on.

Almost forgot--I wrote and edited a super short flash fiction called Blackened Shell. I submitted it to Splickety for consideration in a live critique session they did at Realm Makers. While I wasn't selected as one of the ten stories they critiqued, I did learn plenty of tips and tricks for improving my flash fic next time!


(You probably scrolled right to the bottom to see what this is all about, didn't you? Come on, be honest now!)

Life is always busy. I'm not a fan of that term, busy, although I use it all the time. Truthfully, every day is composed of the exact same twenty-four hours, and we choose how they are filled. But they are always filled with something. Therefore, life is always busy full.

I choose to fill several hours each week with blogging because I love it. I love writing new posts to share with you here, whether they're life updates like this or book reviews or jolts of inspiration to wake your heart. I love reading all of your comments and having conversations with you.

But there are also other things I love, and on top of that, there are some "have-to's" filling my hours--just like your life, I imagine. Balance is key, and different seasons demand we shift our balance from time to time. So I'm shifting some things around right now.

Not to worry! I am not quitting the blog! I REPEAT: ADVENTURE AWAITS IS STILL ALIVE. Neither am I leaving on hiatus. Rather, I am adjusting my posting schedule for a while. With college beginning in less than four weeks, I have a few boring affairs to get in order. I'd like to edit more of TBT before classes start too, and it'd be nice to read a few novels before the textbooks come down in a landslide. So here's how it's going to be.

Old posting schedule: Every Saturday, including a
Subplots and Storylines recap every month.

New posting schedule: Every other Saturday, including the
same Subplots and Storylines recap every month.

This means that instead of four or five posts a month, you'll be getting two or three. It may feel weird to keep such frequent S&S posts with the new schedule, so I may slow those down too. We'll see! This new schedule will go into effect starting now (so don't be alarmed when there's no new post next Saturday) and it will run until I graduate college at the end of April 2019.

See, I've been ruminating on ways to make Adventure Awaits an even better place to visit, and I know that pushing out sub-par content simply for the sake of a schedule would have the opposite effect. I'd rather give you better posts, even if they come less frequently.

How does that sound, questers? Thoughts? How was your July? And your summer in general so far? Let's chat!


  1. YESSS, ZUKO'S BACKSTORY!!!!! (Sorry, I’m going to be fangirling over each update in ATLA you give us. ;) ) *SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 12, THE STORM* (I don’t know what episode you’re on, so I’m erring on the side of caution.) I was honestly crying when they showed the Agni Kai and . . . you know, gave him the scar. *END SPOILERS*

    The new schedule is completely understandable! I personally am not in college, but I know it’s a busy time. Good luck! See you in two Saturdays! ;)

    1. THAT'S THE EPISODE I WATCHED. D': It was really sad! I'm looking forward to finding out more about his backstory.

      Thanks for understanding! It'll be over before we know it, and then I'll be back to regular posting. ;)

  2. haha . . . honesty? Well, I skimmed read everything else, but REALLY wanted to see that announcement ;) have fun with boring affairs ;D

    1. LOL, at least you're honest! ;D I'm getting a lot of those boring affairs in order and it's going well. Have a great week, Keturah!

  3. The gravitational pull of Realm Makers. YES. My entire July centered around it, and now I'm just's done?? What now?! July was so insane. But also so amazing!

    ZUKOOOOO!!! He was kinda my first introduction to my love of antiheroes. My unhealthy obsession for such characters is TOTALLY his fault. >.>

    I really need to continue OUAT! I figured I would after RM, buuuut I've mainly been using my free time to READ the mounds of books I got at RM. Lol. And LOTR MY LOVE!!! That honestly blows my mind that this is your second watching of it. o.o I've been watching that thing multiple times a year since I was 10. I...I may have a problem. Send help?

    Last of the Nephilim! Oh man. I remember that one having SO much going on. Bryan Davis' ability to spin a complex plot with like 293824 storylines blows me away every single time.

    I'm proud of you for readjusting your schedule and changing priorities! And I TOTALLY get it. Blogging is so. much. work. Not only does it take basically an entire day to write each post, but then there's pictures to gather, comments to reply to, etc., etc. I love it, but goodness is it time consuming. So doing it while in college AND pursuing your writing career, plus just life in general... O___O Yeah. I don't know how you juggle it all. I will definitely miss weekly posts (I JUST LOVE YOUR BLOG SO MUCH!), but for this time in your life I think every other week sounds like a lovely plan. Taking care of yourself is important too. <3

    I do hope your August is full of new and beautiful adventures. <333 Can you believe summer is almost over???

    1. Right?? July was crazy busy and amazing and FULL OF REALMIE STUFF and now... it's back to real life. :P

      Haha, I had no idea you had such a deep love for Zuko! He seems to be everyone's favorite character, so I'm looking forward to getting to know him more.

      READING IS GOOD. But yes, I'm so curious to hear your thoughts on more of OUAT! LORD OF THE RIIIINNGGGSSS. <333 I feel like such a newbie fan, haha! Even though I've loved it for a number of years, I've just... never reread the books (yet) and up until now have never rewatched the movies. So... methinks I need to get a few more notches on my belt! XD

      I know, there are so many subplots happening in his books! I don't know how in the world he writes them by the seat of his pants and doesn't outline. o.o

      Thanks for your support, girl! Blogging IS a ton of work--and I love it all, but it's just a bit much when there's college going on. XD I'm always surprised by how long a single post can take to write. I'll miss posting here every single Saturday (ASKDLFJSLAFJ THANK YOU <3) but I'll be back to a regular schedule before ya know it!

      I am in complete and utter denial that summer is coming to a close. XD Have an amazing August, my dear!

  4. Ooh I've been on a surrey once before! It's such a lovely experience!

    Realm Makers sounds like it was an absolute blast.

    The new schedule sounds like a smart move, Tracey...even though we will miss your more frequent posts. :) Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

    1. 'Twas fun! It's a lot more stable than a regular tandem bike. XD

      IT TOTALLY WAS. <3

      Thanks, Megan! I'll miss you guys too, but I'm so thankful that everyone has been understanding. Have a fabulous August!!!

  5. I loved Fellowship of the Ring! (The firework scene always makes me smile)

    Agreed! Angel's lying scene was so well written in my opinion!

    I'll miss weekly posts, but its completely understandable!

    1. THE FIREWORK SCENE. <3 Merry and Pippin are THE BEST.

      The tension was super high in that one, for sure!

      Thanks for understanding, Sarah. I'll be back to post again soon! ^_^

  6. That's quite a lot of notes, my goodness. Editing is so difficult and rewarding.

    I think giving yourself more time is smart, glad your still going to be blogging.

    1. I'm a bit of a crazy note-taker, honestly. XD Difficult and rewarding describes the editing process to a tee! (Speaking of which, I hope your editing is going well. <3)

      Those are my thoughts too. But I couldn't leave y'all completely, so every other week seemed like a good compromise!

  7. We will miss your weekly updates but will treasure even more when we do get to hear from you. Have a fantastic semester! And thank you for the shout out for Bryan's book sale.

    1. And I'll miss talking in the comments with you and everyone else every week! Oh well--in eight months, it'll be back to the regular schedule.

      Thank you! I'm glad to spread the word about his books anytime. =)

  8. Zuko is my favorite.

    The end.

    Well, not the end, actually, because I have other things to comment on... like, "I haven't made it past OUAT season 3...." and You've only seen Fellowship of the Ring TWICE??!?!?!?!!? How is that even possible?

    But then... perhaps I'm the odd one here. My family and I went to see it seven times in theaters.



    To date, that is still the most I have ever watched a single movie in theaters... so I guess that's a... prestigious claim it can make? If it cared? LOL

    I actually did not skim or skip to the announcement, I read the entire post first. :)

    Glad to hear that you are mostly recovered from Realm Makers, it took me a couple of weeks, as well... and now I'm about to head off on another trip... so starting all the school/teaching stuff in Sept is gonna be FUUUUN (not).


    SO GLAD to hear you're not disappearing from the blogging world!!!

    1. That's what everyone seems to be saying! I'm beginning to get an inkling as to why he's such a favorite. ;)

      Oh, definitely keep watching OUAT if you get the chance! Admittedly, season 3 is one of my favorites, but there are still lots of great things about the seasons that follow. (Opinion pending on season 6...) I AM SUCH AN UNACCOMPLISHED LOTR FAN. XD I guess I just don't rewatch/reread things a lot? But I'm working on changing that, at least as far as Middle Earth things go. ;D You've seen it SEVEN TIMES IN THE THEATER?! I don't think I've seen any particular movie in the theater more than once!

      Awww, thank you. ^_^

      Hoo boy! Enjoy the trip! I hope you manage to catch a few restful moments before school kicks off. *hugs*

      LOL, I'm glad too! ;) Have a wonderful August--what's left of it, anyway!

  9. Thirty pages of notes is a lot! As each semester has come and gone in college, I think I’ve taken fewer and fewer pages of notes, to the point that I probably took less than thirty pages of notes all of last semester. My July was pretty good. I turned 21 on the 16th and had my first drink (besides tasting things and besides the two drinks I had in the Bahamas). I didn’t get as much work done as I would’ve liked, but I wasn’t completely idle, and with how much energy my semesters have been requiring as of late, I guess it’s probably good to get some rest. I have just one year to go, but I’ll be applying to grad schools here soon, so it’ll be another 5-7 years for that, if God keeps me on that path.

    1. I *may* have gone overboard, but I don't really care. There were too many good thoughts being shared not to jot them down.

      Happy (belated) birthday! I hope you have a restful remainder of your summer before school starts again.

  10. Thirty pages of notes? Wow... I haven't even started sorting out mine. Too busy reading the books I bought. I have my priorities.
    I never got my fresh strawberries this year, though I meant to. Had some nice gooseberries, though!
    As much as I'll miss a weekly update of your posts, I think switching to every second week is a wise choice. Wouldn't want to have pressure take out the fun of blogging.

    1. Good priorities! I, er... haven't read any of the books I bought there yet. Oops. I've been too busy rereading the humongous "Bones of Makaidos" by Bryan Davis.

      You know, I can't remember ever having gooseberries. What would you compare them to?

      Exactly my thoughts! Thanks for being so understanding. <3

  11. I'm getting to reading your RM report but from just the sound of this it sounds like you had an awesome time! I'll miss more frequent posts, but I get needing to take a step back. I'm glad you're still there though! I'd miss you too much!

    1. It was an incredible experience! I'll miss posting here on a weekly basis, but at least I won't be disappearing for good. ^_^ Awww, thanks, Tori!

  12. Great share! But isn't it too much time for wrapping up everything? Anyways seems like your having fun doing this. Good luck dear!

    1. Thanks! These recap posts do tend to get long, especially when there are announcements to share. :)

  13. I'm curious, is OUAT going downhill? I stopped watching after about the fourth or fifth season (I can't remember) because my family got rid of Netflix. I heard some things about the following seasons, but never anything specific.

    And gasp, I just check Brian Davis's website and he has his books IN HARDBACK? Why has no one told me? I just might have to get them in that format. Thankfully, I only have the first book, so it wouldn't be a too big of a change.

    It looks like you had a great month! I hope August is just as great!

    1. I... don't know. My opinion on season 6 waffles with every episode so far, so I'll have to get back to you when I've finished! I still quite like the Storybrooke side of things, but the Enchanted Forest backstories have gotten a little thin and underdeveloped, IMHO. *shrugs* But my favorite characters (namely Emma, Hook, and the Charmings) are keeping me invested!

      RIGHT? I didn't know about the hardcovers for years! One of these days I may have to upgrade my collection. XD

      I hope your August is amazing too, Sarah!!!

  14. I should really type up my notes from RM sometime...Then I might actually use the advice and teaching I've learned. XD

    I totally get your schedule change. I've had to change mine as well. Originally I was posting every week, but I've changed it to every other week (and even then I'm failing to post. XD) Summer has just been crazy for me, so I'm giving myself that excuse. :P

    I hope you have a lovely rest of your August! ^_^

    1. I ALMOST procrastinated in typing them up, but decided to actually do it this time (since I didn't last year). It helped to absorb a lot more! XD

      Summer is a busy time for a lot of us, so that's totally understandable! And the plus side of cutting back one's posting schedule is that it's easier for us busy folks to keep up with each other's blogs. ;) *cough* Not like I've been doing very good at that..

      You as well, Maddie! ^_^

  15. Aw, the Fellowship is my favorite movie ever. <3 "I still get emotional at . . . well, pretty much every part." Same though!! Like, why is L.R. so sad? =(

    I was kinda' skimming by the end of the post cause I was in a hurry, and I read "Adventure Awaits is still alive," and kinda' freaked out until I figured out what you were talking about! Glad you're still posting, but making time for other things (like that pesky life all writers are stuck with!)

    1. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. <3 I knoooow, but it's not just the sad parts that get to me--even the happy parts make my heart swell and my eyes tear up.

      LOL, that's totally okay! I don't always have time to read all my friends' posts in their entirety either. :P But yes, I'll still be around in and amongst that thing called Life!