Wow, so apparently I don’t do a very good job of a monthly wrap-up post, since the last one of these I wrote was back in September 2018! Sorry about that. Though I have done a couple of monthly-wrap-up type newsletters, so maybe that’s what happened there. Anyway… what’s been going on up here in the frozen north?
Also, it’s May! How did that happen?
Well, so far this year I’ve read 19 books out of the 35 I challenged myself to read over on Goodreads. The most notable reads so far have been…
I FINALLY got around to starting Andrew Peterson’s “Wingfeather Saga” – it’s only had characters nominated in EVERY Silmarillion Awards we’ve done, and last year one of the characters even WON a Silmaril… so I figured it was high time I jumped on the bandwagon to see what it’s all about. So far, I’m enjoying the series. It’s not my favorite, but it is enjoyable and humorous.
The Stroke of Eleven is my favorite read so far this year. The third book in the Beaumont and Beasley series, this one is a bit darker than the previous two… and yet also seems to be funnier… not sure if it’s just that the somber tones highlight the humor better? But this is my favorite of the series so far, hands down.
Rothana was a worthy sequel to Halayda, one of my favorite reads of 2017, but I definitely preferred Halayda. I’ll probably do a full review at some point (not that I have time for things like that lately… but I do try).
If Wishes Were Curses by Janeen Ippolito took me by surprise and transported me back to a past era when I went through a vampire-crazy phase (that was before Twilight… back when I was about 12-13 and my favorite book at the time was “My Sister, the Vampire”… so…. yeah…). It was a fun read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Ummm… tries to remember back a ways, what have we watched recently.
Well, of course last weekend we went to see Endgame. But I can’t talk about that. Most enjoyable theatrical experience I’ve had since Avengers 1 came out. A few disappointments, but mostly a fun ride. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
We watched Venom a while back. That was SUPER fun and I love it so much. I haven’t laughed so hard throughout a movie since…. no idea. So fun.
Derek and I have mostly been re-watching Psych.
And Grand Tour… I’ve always said the Top Gear Boys (as I will always think of them) could talk about luggage and it would be entertaining. Well… recently, I was vindicated! Because they DID an episode about luggage, and it was hysterical. Also, if I ever need to flee the country and live off the grid, apparently Mongolia could be a good place to hide.
We’ve been re-watching Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with the kids, and I still maintain that I actually probably like this cartoon better than most of the movies in the MCU. LOL
Oh, we rented Mortal Engines and… I’ll have to do a review on it, but WOW what a perfect example of how eye-candy special effects are NOT all it takes to make a good movie! Disappointed.
We watched Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse and it was a BLAST! Highly recommend! Best Spiderman movie I’ve ever seen. Ever.
And that’s about all we’ve had time for this spring.
Writing this year has started out slow. I wrote a grand total of 1006 words in February, then took the entire month of March off because of the move. I struggled to get back into it in April… my brain still felt like mush. It still does, to be honest… but I did all right and got 18,788 words written in April, which is actually a pretty good month of writing, especially when you take into account how much I was struggling with motivation. This story… my friends! This story is testing the limits of my ability as a writer. Wrapping up this epic adventure is testing my skills every bit as much as Minstrel’s Call did, if not more.
The Write 100 challenge started back up again on April 23rd, so that’s been super helpful in motivating me to get words on the page every day.
My goal is to have the rough draft of this book done by September 1st. Sooner would be nice, but we’ll see how the summer goes.
We’ve been putting together a timeline for how publication for this series is going to play out, and we’ve started contacting cover designers. Have to make some decisions on that… to my readers who share my faith: your prayers for wisdom in this regard would be most appreciated.
Yeah… that… kind of took over our lives. Still is, in many ways. We are settling and adjusting and looking for our new “normal” and trying to figure out which light switches control which lights.
Honestly, with everything going on, I’m probably going to be pretty scarce online for a while. I’m not sure for how long. I’m still hoping to bring back the Silmarillion Awards this year (September was a nice time last year, so that’s my target again this year). And I have a long list of blog post ideas, and a few interviews scheduled, but I’m thinking seriously about cutting back to one blog post a week… at the most. It just takes away so much time and creativity from my actual writing, and I think this is a season where I need to focus more on writing this story and less on blogging. (See above comment about my brain feeling like mush). Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging all together! I love blogging too much for that. But it does mean I need to cut back a bit for a time.
Once I finish Towers of Might and Memory, I will need to dive straight into edits on the entire series. Once that is done, I plan to send the books off to my editors, and then perhaps I will be able to take a break, or work on something else for a while. I have a MUCH smaller project (a stand alone fairy-tale retelling) that is simmering around in the back of my mind. While I was supposed to take March off from all writing, this story attacked my brain and would give me no rest until I did something about it… so the story is actually 75% outlined and I even wrote the first chapter because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it! I’m excited about it, but I have a lot of work to do before I can focus on it!
I also have a small project scheduled for release later this year (hopefully October), and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on that. It’s my first children’s picture book, and I’m soooooo excited about it. More on that closer to the release date, though!
And that’s all I’ve got in terms of updates! I hope your spring is going well! What have you been up to lately? Read any good books or watched any great movies lately? I’d love to hear about them!