August has been a whirlwind of a month! But it’s been a great month, full of adventures, and a lot of rest and relaxation, which was definitely necessary, since SEPTEMBER APPROACHETH!
And so many things are lined up for September, so I needed a couple of weeks off. But I’m BACK! And just in time for the SILMARIL AWARDS! (cue excitement, confetti cannon, and general mayhem!)
For a quick refresher on WHAT the Silmaril Awards are, WHO is hosting them, WHICH characters have won in the past two years, and a list of the AWARDS that will be open for nominations next week… please visit our SNAZZY NEW WEBSITE that fellow author and friend DJ Edwardson put together for us. This is our “Hall of Fame” as it were, which makes it a bit easier — as our back-log gets larger — to see at a glance which characters have already won these prestigious awards, since these are “Lifetime Silmarils” and previous winners cannot be nominated for the same award they have already won.
Now, do not worry, because this event is still going to be hosted at the blog-homes of each blogger hosting an award, which makes it a fun adventure for you as you get to visit each blog (and maybe find a new blog to follow… who knows?)
But that’s all part of the looking forward to September part of this post. Let’s take a minute and look back over August, shall we?
The Siren and the Scholar by JM Stengl – this was a fun, cute, whimsical retelling of The Little Mermaid. I enjoyed it, though not as much as Ellie and the Prince, and there was one character I had some issues with. More in-depth review coming soon.
Joey by Jennifer Bleakley – THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER! I reviewed it in full earlier this week, so I don’t have much else to add, other than HERE! GO GET A COPY FOR YOURSELF!
Okay, now that you’ve ordered a copy of Joey, let’s continue…
The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie Reeder – this was a REALLY fun book, and I loved it to pieces. It may be the first-ever ACTUAL steampunk book I’ve read, and I quite enjoyed it. The characters were super fun, and I loved the adventure and intrigue and back-stories and… everything about it. DOMINIC! *wails*
Ready, Player One – I fully expected this to be a colossally stupid movie with bad acting, no character-development, and little plot. However, I am more than pleased to admit that I was wrong. This was a really fun movie. Full of nostalgic nods to 80s and 90s pop culture. There was a surprising amount of character development and a pretty interesting plot. I enjoyed it. I also appreciated that it stayed quite a lot cleaner than I expected.
Murder on the Orient Express – this was one I had been interested in since seeing the previews, but I wasn’t really expecting it to blow me away. I watch a lot of crime shows, and I can usually guess the ending or the “whodunit” before the big reveal. (At the very least, I’m usually on the right track). But this one… I did not see it coming. There may have been a moment where the answer flitted through my mind, but I dismissed it as highly unlikely. Anyway, this one was very cool, and far more thought-provoking, intriguing, and introspective than I expected it to be. Add in fabulous acting, gorgeous cinematography, and a plot with more twists and turns than a children’s bounce-house… and this movie ranks up there in the top 3 best movies I’ve seen this year, easily. A quick additional note on the cinematography: this movie is absolutely beautiful. Every single frame could be used as a framed work of art. I felt like I was watching a Francis Ford Coppola film.
Christopher Robin – THIS MOVIE! I grew up loving Winnie-the-Pooh. The hundred acre wood was my childhood. As often as I tried to get into Narnia, I pretended I was in the hundred acre wood. I loved the movie, loved the Saturday morning cartoons, loved the books… Christopher Robin and I were kindred spirits. And this movie brought back all that nostalgia and sweetness and beauty… in a whole new way. I’m trying to craft a review for it, but it was one of those things that was almost too beautiful to encompass with mere words. Seriously, if you see only ONE movie this year… see THIS ONE. Fantastic! (But, again, you might want seventy-dozen boxes of tissues… because fair warning: I cried through the ENTIRE THING… literally. I started crying in the second scene, and every time I started to get ahold of myself something else happened that started up the waterworks all over again)!
Hawaii Five-O – watching season 8 and loving it. Dano and Steve are fun. We also watched a good number of episodes of season 1 with my mom when she was here and it was fun to be reminded of where it all started.
The Write-100 challenge started up again on August 6th… so I joined up and then promptly went on vacation. Literally. I packed up the kids and drove to Michigan. But I also took a 2-week vacation from writing… because that’s apparently the tradition for me. Join a challenge, go on vacation. It’s what I do.
However, in spite of 2 weeks off, I did finish Turrim 3 – and then finished it AGAIN after I started book 4 and realized I needed a few more scenes in book 3 before I could truly consider it “done” - the book now clocks in at just under 123K, and I’ve typed 5,000 words into Turrim 4, bringing my count for August to a solid 12,216 words, which isn’t bad for only getting about 2.5 actual weeks of writing in!
Maybe I’ll get you a couple of snippets in the near future, if you want them.
L went to her first overnight camp earlier in August. It was very different having her gone all week. We missed her lots and are glad she is home! But N and B learned that they could handle more responsibility than they are usually asked to shoulder, so that was good for them, and good for me to see as well.
We took a week-long road trip, just the kids and I, across the mid-west to my brother’s house, visiting family all along the way, picked up my mom, and brought her home with us for a nice visit. They just got two adorable new kitties… I have been told that the best marketing tool an author can buy is a cat. Misfortunately, my husband greatly dislikes cats and my son is allergic. So… that’s pretty much it… the glass ceiling on my career… hahahahahah
These kitties are very sweet and very dog-like and affectionate. Which is probably why I liked them so much… because, truth be told… I like cats… but I’ve always been more of a dog-person… and my brother and sis-in-love’s dog is THE SWEETEST THING EVER. She’s seriously the best-behaved dog in the history of ever.
I hurt my back pretty badly last week, and am just now really getting better. It was not fun. I could barely move… thankfully, it was just a strain and a line of awful knots and nothing more serious. It is nice to be able to pick up my kids again, and not something I’m taking for granted right now!
School starts for real next week, so we’re just soaking in the last week of summer, playing outside, hanging out with friends, and wishing summer lasted forever. (At least my kids are… I’m excited for fall and apple-flavored everything)
Our house is starting to look like an actual building! Framing is done and the electrician has started wiring things up. It is all very exciting and somewhat overwhelming. I hate moving… so I’m not looking forward to that aspect of things… but I’m glad it’s close by and we have plenty of time to go back and forth before our lease runs out so that makes it a little less daunting.
A friend brought us a caterpillar and we watched him turn into a butterfly. Unfortunately, his wings did not develop properly and so he cannot fly. But we have decided to adopt him and keep him safe for the span of his short life. He is brought fresh flowers and sugar water daily. The kids and I have named his Icarus, and he is much-beloved by all. You can follow his adventures on Instagram, where I’ll be periodically posting pictures of him.
Well, as I already said, the Silmaril Awards start up next Monday!
The next Fellowship of Fantasy anthology is releasing in October, I believe, and I have a short story in that one. I’m getting a cover made for my story and everything! Can’t wait to show it to you!
I’m hoping to revive my “Drachtober” hashtag game over on twitter. Everyone seemed to have fun with it last year. If you have any fabulous prompt ideas, let me know in the comments!!!
My goal as of right now is to get 40,000 words written on Turrim 4 by the end of October, and then ACTUALLY participate in NaNoWriMo this year! *gasp* Try not to faint. But since we aren’t planning on any big travels in Nov/Dec, if I could “win” NaNo, that could put me in a spot to easily finish this draft by the end of 2018. It’s a lofty goal… but that’s why I want to pursue it. (points to anyone who knows what quote I’m paraphrasing)
And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Daddy!
Talk to me! Do you have any awesome prompt idea for this year’s Drachtober? Are you excited for the Silmarillion Awards? What have you been up to in August, dear Reader?