Sunday, December 2, 2018

Subplots & Storylines - October and November 2018

Questers, it has been A Very Long While since we caught up! How was the tail end of your autumn? Did you stuff yourself with Thanksgiving turkey? Tackle NaNoWriMo? Do you have snow yet??? I do!

My October and November was a long stream of homework interrupted by a few fun things, so I'll spare you the monotonous details and stick to the good stuff.

Life Subplots

Thanksgiving! It was good and full of food. And it was in October, where Thanksgiving is supposed to be. *winks at all my American pals*

Tons of homework--oh wait, I said I would skip that part. Except I will say that my heaviest course involved talking to a dozen strangers over the phone, running around scheduling interviews, conducting marketing research surveys, and writing some major papers. Heh.

I went to an escape room. It was a bank heist theme and yes, I did escape. Funny thing is I managed to pass this off as research for school. (Long story.)

I turned twenty-three!

Started Christmas shopping and had some soul chats with friends and listened to a lot of music. New favorites include Imagine Dragons' Origins album and a bunch of stuff by Mat Kearney.

Screen Storylines


Once Upon a Time, Season 6 - just one episode
Nothing new to report here, really. I've been moving so slowly through the season that it's hard to update the S&S posts with anything meaningful.

Image result for tomorrowland movie

Tomorrowland (rewatch)
During a tough stint of school deadlines when I was too exhausted to read, I took to watching 20-30 minutes of this before bed. I accidentally forgot to finish it, though . . . Whoops. Fun movie, though!
<3 p="">

Fantasia 2000
A change from my usual fare. This one was at times funny, other times poignant, and generally beautiful in a turn-of-the-century-animation way. My favorite piece was The Firebird.

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Inception (rewatch)
I've told people for years that this is one of my top favorite films even though I'd seen it only once. In October I watched it for the second time and remembered why I love it! Intense and paradoxical, the plot keeps you on your toes and the characters are fantastically well-defined.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp
Scott Lang makes me laugh and this sequel was a nice breather after the intensity of Avengers: Infinity War. But that post-credit scene . . . !


Once Upon a Time, Season 6 - again, just one episode
See above.

And it looks like that's all I watched in November! Wow. I guess I really was busy.

Page Subplots


Image result for crazy love francis chan

Crazy Love // Francis Chan
A nonfiction audiobook? When does Tracey ever listen to one of those? When she spends two hours on the road every day, that's when.

This wasn't quite as good as I was hoping. It did have some great portions. I especially liked the beginning that reminded me of the bigness of God. There were more good reminders scattered throughout, but overall, some chunks seemed to be written to make me feel guilty rather than to inspire true change. Yet that wasn't the purpose of the book as the author described it. So . . . 3.5 stars, I think.


From the Mouth of Elijah // Bryan Davis (reread)
From the fiery devastation of an erupting volcano to bullet-riddled battlefields to madcap dashes through one portal after another--sacrificial love once more leads the way. Lauren’s journey is particularly poignant in this book, but the entire cast of heroes demonstrate incredible faith too.

And it was fun to see Matt and Lauren become more accustomed to their heritage, preparing them for the crazy adventures of the next two books. 5 stars!

Image result for if we survive andrew klavan

If We Survive // Andrew Klavan (reread)
This was a reread and another audiobook, which was excellent. I already loved the book, but it was so fun to listen to it five years later. One of my favorite Klavan books!

High points include dear Will (who just wants to do the right thing, gosh darn it), Palmer Dunn (ex-Marine pilot full of snark and major skills), Meredith (the calm, stately friend who mothers everyone), the South American jungle setting, and the theme of "pointing your soul to God" in moments of great danger and worry. 5 stars!

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Fawkes // Nadine Brandes
I HAVE BEEN LONGING TO READ THIS FOR MONTHS. AHHH. I held off buying it until Realm Makers in July and then . . . let it sit on my shelf for three months, obviously. But it was so worth the wait and the hype!

First of all, historical fantasy. I need more. Seeing the streets of 17th century London running with color magic was SO PANCAKE-FLIPPING COOL. Thomas was a fantastic protagonist and Emma pulled off "kick-butt heroine" without being annoying. (She was actually fabulous.)

The plot was twisty, the full cast of characters sparkled with life, the magic system was fun, and the White Light took me by surprise in a good way. 5 stars!

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Haven // Mary Lindsey
I am definitely not the target audience for this book. Steamy paranormal romance is not. my. thing. But I got this in a PageHabit box (I was subscribed for two months last year) and it had author annotations and I felt obligated to try it. So I did.

You can check out my full review on Goodreads, but basically this was a Twilight-reversal with a troubled teen moving to a small, creepy town (of course) and "falling in love" with a female werewolf (who was aggressive and unlikeable and walked around naked after shifting back to human form, #thanksbutnothanks).

I say "falling in love" with quotation marks because neither party had much personality going for them, but neither one cared much because hey, all it takes to build a relationship is making out, right? Gag me now.

The first 50% of the book was packed with clichés. The midpoint involved Rain, the protagonist, being disgustingly pushy with Freddie, the werewolf. And the rest was exceedingly bloody. 1 star.



The Seventh Door // Bryan Davis (reread)
Since I've been rereading all twelve books in these interconnected series this year, the parallels between The Seventh Door and Circles of Seven were even more apparent this time around--which was really cool!

There are some deeply sad scenes (the abortion clinic, for those who've read it) and some thought-provoking ones (the missile) that I enjoyed. Lauren plays a crucial role here, and the book ends on a tense note. 5 stars.

Written Storylines

In October, I dug up an old flash fiction piece and rewrote it. It's called Dead Magic, and working on it was a breath of fresh air! I submitted it to Havok Publishing so we'll see if anything comes of that in the near future.

For a teaser, here's the first line:

The door of Sebastian's Magickry opened with the tinkle of a bell precisely fifteen minutes after closing time.

Hello, December

It's been a good but very full two months, and I'm so ready for Christmas break! How about you, questers? What have I missed in your corner of the world?


  1. Looks like a lot! I stopped watching Once Upon a Time in season two because it felt like it was turning into a soap opera haha.So many of those books I need to read!

    1. Haha, seasons two and three are actually my favorites, but I see what you mean! Lately it has kind of devolved into a soap opera with fairytales. :P

  2. How did you get an escape room to count as research, cause that sounds awesome! =D
    I love Fantasia 2000. <3
    My Thanksgiving was good. I feel like NaNo didn't wipe me out as much this time as last, which I'm really happy about. I'm looking forward to diving back into my story this month. =)
    Unfortunately, it doesn't really snow here in Texas except for like one day every few years, but I'm hoping for it. =)
    I hope your December is amazing!

    1. I was researching a hypothetical business idea for one class, and my team's idea was a bed and breakfast with escape rooms! So that was our excuse. XD

      Me too! ^_^

      So glad to hear that NaNo didn't tire you out too much. Maybe that's a sign of growing stamina as a writer?

      Yeah, I can imagine you don't get much snow in TX. ;) But you never know!

      Thanks so much! You too, Mikayla! <3

    2. Ohh, that is the coolest!! =D I would stay there... ;D

      Maybe! =D

      Happy new year, Tracey!

    3. Well, sadly, the business idea didn't go forward to the next stage. But thanks for the support. XD

      Happy New Year!

  3. Ack Fawkes sounds good! I've never actually read any historical fantasy but it sounds positively glorious.

    And ah yes. That post-credits scene in Ant Man and Wasp.

    1. IT ISSS, READ IT READ IT READ IT! Ahem. Not that I'm pushing it on anybody. XD

      Yeah. *sniffle* That scene. Not like we needed any more feels after Infinity War.

  4. It's been SO many years since I watched Fantasia 2000! I remember how unique and interesting it was.

    And I love that first sentence of your flash fiction!! Havok has SUCH a cool set-up; I can hardly wait until it launches.

    Fun post! :D

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

    1. Unique and interesting describe it perfectly! This was actually my first time watching it all the way through.

      Aww, thank you, Lila! <3 I'm really looking forward to what Havok's doing too.

  5. Oh 23 is nice! I'm already starting to feel old. XD
    I love Inception.

    1. Haha, you old fart. XD ;)

      Me toooo. I already want to watch it again.

  6. *TACKLES* It's always good to hear from you! But good gracious, it definitely looks like school has sucked away all your time. You had to talk to a dozen strangers on the phone for homework??? Worst. homework. EVER. You poor thing! But you're sooo close to Christmas break. Rooting you on all the way!

    Okay but, despite being American, I totally agree Thanksgiving should be in October. XD You Canadians are way more sensible. I feel like our Thanksgiving gets rushed and shoved aside because it's so close to Christmas. We could give it more attention if it were in October! Lol.

    But ANYWAYS, I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely AND your birthday (happy birthday again!!! <3)!

    Would you believe I've never seen Inception??? I've wanted to FOREVER I just...never have. I really must remedy this!

    Oh my goodness, wasn't Fawkes so, so amazing??? The writing was just...AWK. I have no words. It was so deep and meaningful and vivid and yeah. I loved it. So glad you got to read it!

    I do hope these last few days of school go smoothly! And that you have the most AMAZING December! <33333

    1. Aw, it warms my heart to know I was missed! <3 But yeah, school kind of gobbled up my November. The phone calls weren't awful; it was the wild goose chase of talking to four or five of them before finding the right person that was frustrating-yet-funny. XD THANK YOU, MY DEAR.

      Ha! Maybe next year you should just visit a certain Canadian during October so that you can get TWO Thanksgivings. ;) Funny you say you'd like to give it more attention--it seems like a humongous celebration already, even more than it is up north! LOL.

      Thank you again!!! <333

      WHAT. CHRISTINE. YOU NEED TO SEE IT. It's only one of the most intense and mind-bending movies ever! :D

      YES, FAWKES IS INCREDIBLE AND I LOVE IT. Deep and meaningful and vivid is right! I still need to write a review on Goodreads, but... it's so hard to write reviews for books you love! Weird how that works.

      Thank you so much! Happy December! ^___^

  7. Ooh, an escape room!? That sounds epic! I've never been to one, but really want to go!

    I also got Fawkes in July at Realm Makers (so I could get it signed!), and it was an amazing book! I had Mom read it, and she liked it too.

    1. They're definitely a fun experience! I hope you get to try one out sometime!

      Woohoo for Fawkes and Realm Makers! Speaking of RM, I'm racking my brain for all the names of people I met... are you the one I saw after Breakfast with Bryan Davis? *winces in case she got it wrong*

    2. I can't remember the exact time, but it might've been! I know for sure I met you there. :D

    3. LOL, then I'm preeeetty sure that's when it was. :D Either way, HELLO AGAIN!

    4. Probably. :D HI! *waves* :D

  8. Happy belated birthday! *wants to see Ant Man and the Wasp* *is aware of what happens in the end credits scene, though, and is kind of mad about it* :p I'm so glad you enjoyed Fawkes! I loved it, too. <3

    Hard to believe it's been a full two months since then (and also hard to believe it's ONLY been two months, but my dad actually fell and broke his shoulder on Sept 30th, and then a couple weeks later his heart failure symptoms popped up again (it had been several years since he last had a problem) and we spent the vast majority of one night in the ER while they got the excess fluid off of him and his blood pressure down. Don't panic though, because he's much, much, MUCH better now. His doctors and my mom and I have been taking good care of him and his heart is back to being okay and his shoulder is almost completely healed, so even though October wasn't super fun, November was a lot better, with a very pleasant Thanksgiving, much writing, and hopefully December will be better still. :)

    1. Thank you!!! LKFJASLKFJ, yes, watch Ant Man and the Wasp! Aside from that ending (and I'm sorry you had it spoiled for you), it was really fun. Yay, I'm happy you loved Fawkes as well! Definitely one of the best books I've read all year.

      Oh wow! Family emergencies are scary things. I'm so glad your dad is doing better now, though! Praying for full recovery! <333

  9. No no, my Canadian friend, October is for Halloween and November is for thanksgiving. ;) And Yes Ant-Man and Wasp was all fun and games until the end credits scene destroys you. XD

    1. Heehee, I expected someone would say that. ;) I know, right?? Marvel is so cruel to us. XD

  10. Inception is a GORGEOUS, amazingly well-done movie!! It's definitely in my top favorite movies. :D And that post credit Ant Man and the Wasp scene...I wanted to scream, sitting in the movie theater. XD

    OOH, I love that last snippet line!! Really makes me curious... :) Lovely post, Tracey! I always love hearing from you! ^_^

    1. So much yes to that! <3 I'm kind of in the mood to rewatch it AGAIN. XD Ack, I know! Avengers: Endgame needs to get here fast.

      Thank you! Glad you like it! ^_^ Awww, you're sweet. I love getting your comments, Maddie! Have a wonderful December!