Summer Ishness

Well, here I sit. Kind of reeling to discover that we’re already halfway through August already. What in the deep world? Thought I might take a minute to write up an Ishness post and let you all know what I’ve been up to this summer.

(ishness is a monthly blog meme created by Deborah @ Road of a Writer)

First, a quick announcement:

Second Son is currently available for FREE on Kindle at Amazon – the sale lasts until Wednesday!

Now, on to the Ishness of Summer… what have I been…


Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 4.44.58 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 4.45.12 PM

I’ve also made it 3/5ths of the way through Five Magic Spindles, and am enjoying all the stories immensely. More to come on that once I’ve finished all the stories.

five magic spindles 1

I haven’t read a ton this Summer, nowhere near as many books as I intended to. I have so many good books sitting on my bookshelf, begging me to read them, but I haven’t really been in much of a reading “mood” lately. It’s kind of weird, but every now and then I go through a sort of reading “slump” in which nothing really seems all that enticing, and I just don’t want to read. These occurrences are extremely rare, but they do happen. Often they are followed by a period of absolutely voracious reading, so maybe I’ll have more books to tell you about in the coming months… we shall see.


I have hammered out approximately 11,000 words on my Turrim Archive Book #2 – most of those words were written in July during Camp Nano, and I really enjoyed/appreciated the extra incentive of Camp that helped keep me on task with getting back into writing in that story. Now that I’ve gotten back to the keyboard and had my memory refreshed on that story, the writing is coming more easily, which is wonderful.

Also lots of blogging. The Silmarillion Awards necessitated quite a bit of writing.

silmarillion-awards-border-gold Henry Fairchild

And I introduced the world to Henry Fairchild and his capricious capers into the realm of fiction where he commits his dastardly (but quite fictional) crimes in the name of justice and “happily ever after.”

I helped out with the Bookania party and got to interview Madeline, one of my favorite characters of Kendra E. Ardnek’s.


Actually watched quite a few movies this summer.

Kung Fu Panda 3 – which has actually been a super cute series of movies. I have been pleasantly surprised by how the sequels have been every bit as funny, whimsical, and family-friendly as the first one, and haven’t slid down the slippery slope of adding unnecessary crude humor like so many other franchises feel the need to do.

Zootopia – saw this one twice and really enjoyed it. Just a very cute, fun story. Lots of humor to this one. My kids enjoyed it, as well, which is always a plus.

The Peanuts Movie – oooh, probably one of my absolute favorites this summer! I love this movie so much! When we watch it I feel like I’m watching the old Peanuts movies or reading the old comics. They captured the heart and soul of the franchise and presented it so beautifully. Seriously, it made me cry. (Not that that’s super hard… but still) If you haven’t seen this one, WATCH IT!

What If… – with Kevin Sorbo. Has a bit of a slower pace, but really a very good movie. Just an exquisitely beautiful story about second chances, redemption, and God’s plans for your life all intermingled with a very subtle Gospel message. Somewhat reminiscent of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Suicide Squad – which wasn’t my favorite movie ever, but I liked it more than I thought I would. If only because DC continued to prove that it can write villains better than Marvel can… and I am very much looking forward to where the Justice League goes from here, because if some of these villains show up in the Justice League movies as actual villains… well, our heroes are going to have their work cut out for them!

The Finest Hours – an absolutely nerve-wracking, epic movie about a true story. Loved everything about this movie!

Eddie the Eagle – about Olymic ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards and his lifelong goal of becoming an Olympian. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but still quite inspirational and a fun story. And it has Hugh Jackman in it, so that was fun.

The Empire Strikes Back – we are having a lot of fun introducing our kiddos to the Star Wars movies. They are not as appreciative as I would like… but I’m willing to give it time *grin* At the very least I am having fun re-watching some of my all-time favorite movies!

Far and Away – only actually made it through half of this one, but it’s still fun.

Ant Man – rewatched this and enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed it the first time. Seriously, it’s a complete rip-off of the first Iron Man movie, but I don’t even care. Such a fun romp of a movie.

Lots and lots and lots of Cubs baseball! *does a happy dance* A couple of weeks ago my wonderful, awesome husband saw that MLB tv was only $18 for the rest of the season and he went ahead and bought it. So I’ve been watching my Cubbies to my heart’s content, and getting to introduce my children to the thrill that is major league baseball.


My mom and sister came to visit and we and the kids drove over to Michigan for a family-reunion/early birthday surprise party for my grandma.

I helped lead a “Family Group” at our church’s VBS which was themed, “Adventure in Egypt” and followed the journey of Joseph through being sold by his brothers to being thrown into jail to becoming the Pharoah’s right-hand man to ultimately forgiving his brothers. It was a super fun week and I really enjoyed getting to know a few more people at our church.

We’ve been going to the pool a lot, visiting parks and playgrounds, and generally enjoying being outside in the warm-but-not-so-hot-it’s-miserable weather. It is so nice to be enjoying Summer again! We’ve also been getting to know some of our neighbors, which is a new and different experience for me as an adult. It’s a bit weird and uncomfortable at times, but it’s also something I’ve been praying for for a long time, and I’m enjoying being in a neighborhood that really feels like a community. In our old neighborhood I often felt like we were very disconnected from our neighbors (mostly because they were all older than us and none of them had kids our children’s ages).


Guys! A thing happened! I had an endorsement printed in a real, honest to goodness, traditionally published book! *squeals in a very non-adult sort of way and jumps up and down grinning like an idiot* I didn’t even know about it, Deborah told me about it (and I haven’t had a chance to get to the library yet, so I’m going to include the picture she took and sent to me). And not just any book… a STEPHEN R. LAWHEAD BOOK!!!! *flails*


The endorsement is in the front of “The Bone House” which is the second book in his Bright Empires series. Many years ago when I had less children and more time to do things like this (and publishers actually sent you a physical copy of the book instead of this e-book/pdf nonsense), I signed up for several “blogging for books” programs and wonder of wonders, The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead was a book I managed to get ahold of an ARC for. I devoured and reviewed it in short order, and thought absolutely nothing more about it…. until last week when Deborah sent me an email telling me that my endorsement had been printed in the front of The Bone House!

*falls over*

I can’t even.

I’m almost more excited about this than the prospect of publishing my OWN book, because… Stephen Lawhead. I mean… STEPHEN LAWHEAD!!!!!!!!!!


If you’d like, you can read the entire review I wrote back in 2010 HERE.

August/September Plans

I am continuing to work on the Turrim Archive. I’ve been getting a lot of writing done while watching the Cubs play, so making good progress on that front. Hoping to continue plugging away and maybe get the first draft of this book finished in the next month or two.

Some dear friends are coming to visit us at the end of August – we are much looking forward to that.

Planning on starting into school with the kiddos on Sept. 1st. I learned that WI has a law that says their schools can’t start before Sept. 1st because of the heavy influence of tourism on the economy here… and while that doesn’t apply to homeschoolers, of course, I like that rule… so we will abide by it anyway.

The Nerd and Tie Expo is coming up at the end of September, and I’m getting a bit nervous. But also excited. Hopefully I’ll have lots of fun to share about that at the end of September.

And that is pretty much all I’ve got for updates and Ishness! How was YOUR summer, dear Reader?

~ jenelle


Deborah O'Carroll

YAY ISHNESS! :D I love these posts of yours. ^_^ So great to hear what you’re up to!

Did you mean Five Magic Spindles, not Five Enchanted Roses (I know it’s probably a habit to write that last one instead. XD)?

My condolences on your reading slump. *huggles* I hope you get out of it soon! I totally understand…

Congrats on 11K words and Camp NaNo!!! *cheering*

Hmm, I want to try Kung Fu Panda 3 someday… The first two were fun. :) Also Ant-Man! It’s the only one I haven’t seen yet I think? EEP. Must see it! :D Zootopia was sooo fun/cute. ^_^

I’m smiling way too big over the Lawhead book thing. :D I didn’t know you read an ARC–SO COOL! That makes sense, then. ^_^ But your excitement over it is the best. :D You must read the next ones when you get a chance! I just finished The Bone House and it was soooo good!

Best of luck on your reading and Turrim Archive writing and homeschool stuff and expo and all! I hope you have an awesome rest of the summer! <3


Aww, thanks!

Hahaha, yes, I did mean Five Magic Spindles! I apparently went on autopilot a bit while writing this post.

Next time I go to the library I’m definitely going to see if they have the rest of the Bright Empires series. I remember now that part of the reason I wasn’t rushing to the book store for the Bone House was because I was kinda disappointed by the cliff-hanger-ish ending of Skin Map, and figured this might be one I’d prefer to read once more of the books were out. And then I forgot about them… :-D

Thanks! Hope you have an awesome rest of summer, too!

Deborah O'Carroll

Well they’re all published now, so. ;) Heehee. :D (It is tough when there are cliff-hangers and the rest of the series isn’t published… So I’m glad I waited this long myself!)


Ooh, you’ve had a busy summer! I’ve requested Five Magic Spindles from the library, so hopefully it comes in soon! It looks fabulous. :)
Zootopia and The Peanuts Movie were both adorable! *grins*
AGH THAT’S SO EXCITING YOU WERE FEATURED IN THE ENDORSEMENTS!!! *flails with you* And in a Stephen Lawhead book! :D
And I can’t wait to hear more about the Turrim Archive…Sounds really interesting… <3


So far, I’m loving it! Of the three collections, I’m still kinda partial to Five Enchanted Roses… not sure why…….. ;) haha These stories are truly fantastic, though.

*adds confetti and cake to the flailing and jumping around party that has been started… I mean, if we’re going to get all excited, we might as well have cake and confetti! oooh, and ice cream!*

Hoping to post some snippets soon!

E. E. Rawls

Lawhead! That’s so awesome, Jenelle! So happy your endorsement was chosen to be printed!!!
I hope you have a great time at the Expo, and enjoy the rest of August with family.
I just saw the Peanuts movie and loved it!
I’m glad to hear Turim is coming along well too. :) I haven’t read many books this year either yet, but maybe summer time is just too distracting?



Yeah, maybe. I’m not used to being back north and actually enjoying summer… when it’s so beautiful outside and not ridiculously hot and as humid as if you’re breathing water, it’s amazing how much I want to be outside! Not a bad thing :)

E. E. Rawls

Haha, most people I ask say they’d rather have cool weather. Me, I was spoiled as a kid living in hotter climates, so I am not a fan of cold. :)


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