Blogging, Random, Reading, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month With Fog: January Edition

First Wrap Up of the New Year! Let’s get to it! 🙂

Once More Unto the (Writing) Breach

  • Changing History: I managed to post three chapters last month, which is not as much as I wanted to get done. I also did not get any work done on Entwives at all.  I feel a little bit stuck to be honest, I’m going to try to push through that this month, even if it means skipping ahead.
  • Surprise!: I started a new, exciting project this month, completely unexpectedly! Not only is it in a fandom that has been currently ruining my life (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), but it is also my very first collaboration! The story is a High School Alternate Universe fanfiction, based on this tumblr post:

I am really excited about this project and my collaborator is a complete delight! I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated as progress is made.

Have You Hugged a Book Today?

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I’m sort of failboating here. Not good. Part of the reason is because I haven’t been listening to my audiobooks, like I did last year. And I am out of time when it comes to actual paper, apparently. I’ll see what I can do to fix that, but for now let’s take a look at what I did finish this month!

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header 🙂

  • Books I’ve finished:
    1. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire- Four Stars
    2. Wolverine and Jubilee: Curse of the Mutants by Kathryn Immonen- Three Stars
    3. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Vol 1 by Ryan North- Three Stars
  • Book to Screen:
    1. The Help– I put this off for a long, long time. And even though I tried to wait until the book’s effect had worn off, it wasn’t long enough. The movie just can’t compare. It was good, don’t get me wrong (I mean, it did make me cry… twice), but the book was so much more. I actually don’t think it would be possible for anyone to make a movie that could compare to the book for me. I enjoyed it, but only in that it made me want to read the book again 🙂
    2. I feel I should mention, I’m trying to live tweet whenever I watch one of these movies. If you’d like to follow along, or just go back and read my reactions to some of the movies I watch, the hashtag I use is #fogwatches

#Hashtags and other minutia

I did pretty well on the social media front this month! Yay me! Let’s play those highlights!

  • My Favorite Tumblr Reblog: Truth talk.
  • My Favorite Tumblr Post: Poe Dameron is ruining my life, someone help…
  • Twitter Retweet: Look me in the eye and tell me this was necessary.

  • Twitter Post: In honor of Alan Rickman’s passing I watched Sense and Sensibility. I expected it to make me sad, but instead it just made me angry.

  • Instagram: I’m constantly in awe of how much my friends just FLIPPING GET ME! ;P

View this post on Instagram

MY FRIENDS FLIPPING GET ME!!! MY VERY OWN BUCKY!!!

A post shared by Emily (@fogisbeautiful) on

  • Instagram: My crafting accomplishment of the month- Supported Spinning!
  • Just For Fun: I CAN’T UNSEE THIS, OH LORD…

Do I Actually Have a Life?

For the first time in several months, I actually have something to report in this area! Two things actually! Let’s get started! 🙂

  • My good friend, Elissa is my Gandalf.

You see, not long ago she sent me a link to this post, by a blog called Nerd Fitness. It was all about walking to Mordor. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking:

And I concur. Wholeheartedly. In fact, after checking out the original website that contains the details of that particular walk, I felt a little bit overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. I mean 1779 miles? ONE WAY??? Eep.

But if you’ll look closely (and scroll down a little farther) there is another path that we might take. The path of that great (albeit reluctant) adventurer…

The path of Bilbo Baggins to the Lonely Mountain.

So, as a fan this really appeals to me, I get to start my adventure with the adventure that started it all! As a couch potato that is easily discouraged this also appeals to me, because (according to my calculations) the journey is only going to be 1755 miles, round trip! That’s still a lot, but because I am a complete nerd, I modified Nerd Fitness’s Google spreadsheet and broke the journey down into (mostly) manageable chunks. So, I went out and bought a Fitbit Flex and I have started my journey!

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You are welcome to follow my progress on my modified spreadsheet, or even save your own copy of the spreadsheet and walk with me! After all, Bilbo didn’t go it alone:

Either way, I’ll be sure to keep everyone apprised of my progress, both here on the blog and probably on Twitter and/or Tumblr. Because nerd things deserve to be shared! 😛

  • Anybody use Duolingo? It’s a free online program and app to learn a language. I discovered it before, but never really committed. Now I think I want to try again, starting with Spanish. It’s a fun app that feels a lot like a game and I’m really enjoying it 🙂 If anyone is using it, or feels like signing up, feel free to find me and make me a friend, I can always use the competition! 😉 As always, I’m fogisbeautiful.

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing- I’m already having to modify my goals for the year. But that’s just life I suppose 🙂 In February, I plan to finish posting my edited chapters of Changing History: Second Chances, finish the first draft of Entwives, and finalize an outline for my Force Awakens collaboration. This is going to be a lot of work, but I’m going to do my best.
  • Reading- Get my audiobook files fixed, so I can start listening again. Finish The Wise Man’s Fear. Start The Gunslinger.
  • Social Media- Keep up the good work, yo! 😉
  • My Personal Life- According to early calculations, I expect I can almost make it to Bree by the end of the month, if I’m persistent. I think I can make it through my review of the first section of my Duolingo lessons and also finish up the second section as well.

And that’s it! The first Wrap Up of 2016! Not a complete fail, not a complete win, but I’m working steadily and that’s what counts 🙂 See you all in February!

Blogging, Random, Reading, Writing

New Year, New Goals: 2016

2015 is dead! Long live 2016!

…unless of course it sucks as much as 2015 did. But let’s try to stay positive, shall we? 😉

A new year is upon us and it’s time to evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and prepare for the year to come! This is going to be a little bit like my monthly review posts, with sections for Writing, Reading, and my Personal Life goals. So let’s get started!

Writing

2015 in Review

Goals were: Finish Changing History, Finish one original novel, publish something new every 4 months.

At first glance, these goals don’t seem like much. But they turned out to be far more complicated than I could have imagined. As a result, I did not actually finish a single one of them. This might be depressing, if I hadn’t carefully recorded the things that I actually did do this year. Here is that list.

  • I almost completely rewrote my Changing History trilogy this year. This is the major feat that I’m really congratulating myself for. I finished all three parts except for the last five/six chapters of Second Chances. This means that I reread, rewrote, and reposted 281,557 words this year. That’s a LOT of work! And the sad part is, as part of a reviewer’s journey, I’ve recently found myself rereading Choices again and discovering even more grammatical errors that need correcting! I’m ignoring them for now, but it’s just proof that I will need to go through this story at least one more time before I am truly done. There is still so much left for me to do, but the bulk of the work is finished and that is something to celebrate.
  • I finished the first draft of my Loki/OC fanfic, Clarity. This is also a big accomplishment for me, as I’ve been planning this story for over a year, possibly longer. I’m very pleased with it, I think after some major revision and editing it will be just as good, if not better than Worth Living For. As much as I love the Changing History saga, I feel like I have poured more of my soul into these Marvel fics than I have into any other pieces of writing I’ve done thus far. They are extremely close to my heart and finishing even one more part feels like something worth recognizing.
  • I overcame The Great Disaster of 2015 and managed to finish Part Two of what I hope will be my first published original novel, currently titled Wonderland Reclaimed. Those who know me personally will know how much I struggled with this, how hard it was for me to open that project knowing how much work there was to be done. But I did it. And I’m fairly happy with the progress I have made, enough to feel even a little bit of eagerness to jump into rewriting the missing pieces of Part One in the near future.
  • I started blogging regularly! Granted, it’s not that often, but once a month for six months is far more than I’ve blogged before on a regular basis. I have a long way to go, but I’m determined to at least keep plugging along on what I’ve started.
  • Lastly (and what I feel to be most importantly), I learned more about myself as a writer this year than I think I have in any year previous. I kept records of what I accomplished and didn’t accomplish, I focused my writing efforts into chunks that seemed reasonable, and when I did not reach my goals, rather than falling into depression and giving up, I took a step back, reevaluated, and modified. I feel as if I have a better understanding of what works for me as a person and as a writer, I have a better understanding of how much I can reasonably expect of myself, and I have a better understanding of how much WORK I am actually putting in to these projects. I am able to celebrate my accomplishments, rather than just berating myself for my failures, and that is in itself an accomplishment.

2016 Goals

Overall goals for the year are: Finish Changing History rewrites, Finish first draft of Changing History: Entwives, Write the Worth Living For short that I’ve been planning for ages, Edit and begin posting Clarity, Finish the first draft of all three parts of Wonderland Reclaimed.

Reward Project: If I finish Wonderland Reclaimed, I can write my Avengers: Age of Ultron fic for NaNoWriMo in November.

The following is how I am planning to break up my week and what I plan to accomplish on each day:

  • Catch-up Monday- Spend this day working social media, responding to reviews, and generally playing catch up from the weekend. Writing Group meets on this day, so work on anything related to that.
  • Blogging Tuesday- This does not mean I will be blogging every week (that would be crazypants), but I will do at least one thing blog related on this day every week. Whether that be updating the draft of my Monthly Wrap-Up post, or working on something completely new, well, we’ll just have to see.
  • Whatever Wednesday- This is a day I can do what I want. I can write, I can watch TV, I can read, I can lounge around and do nothing at all, WHATEVER!
  • Writing Thursday- This is my writing day. I dedicate this day to nothing but writing related shenanigans, whether that be new words or editing.
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday- Are usually pretty packed with social interactions, so I’m leaving those open.

After some consideration (and talking with my writing group!) I have decided to do Quarterly Goal updates this year. That means that ever three months, I will reevaluate my goals and re-prioritize, based on what I’ve accomplished thus far. As such, here is the break down of the first three months of my writing life in 2016!

January: First month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months, focusing on revising and editing. My goals are to finish editing and posting Changing History: Second Chances, and to finish the first draft of Entwives.

February: Second month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months. I’ll be setting aside Changing History this month and shifting my focus onto my intense editing of Clarity (Loki fic). I will also add new words to the rewriting of Part One of Wonderland Reclaimed.

March: Prep Month for Camp NaNo #1. Prepare to edit Entwives, write out an outline of what I have so far and make note of any plot holes that need filling. I’ll also continue to add words to Wonderland Part One.

Reading

2015 in Review

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And just for fun, here are some cool stats about what I read!

2015ReadingStatsPages2015ReadingStatsRatings

My original Reading Challenge this year was to finish 60 books, but as I began to take my writing more seriously it became apparent that something was going to have to be done to make time for that. So I lowered my goal to 50 books rather than 60, and I stand by that decision. 50 books is a great goal, I feel like it pushed me to continue reading, but didn’t overwhelm or depress me. I also had a personal goal to reread the Harry Potter novels this year and I accomplished that! It was so rewarding to return to a series I had enjoyed so much and read them again with fresh eyes.

2016 Goals

ReadingChallenge2016

I’m going to repeat my goal of 50 books for the year. As I said before I felt like it was a perfectly reasonable goal that gave me a sense of accomplishment without overwhelming me and I see no reason to fix something that isn’t broken 😉 The series I would like to try to finish this year is The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

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I started to read these books several years ago, and I devoured the first three, but I stalled on book four. I’ve heard so many good things about the series, and I think I’m ready to try tackling it one more time. If you’d like a list of the other books I’m planning to read this year, here is a link to my To-Read list on Goodreads.

Personal Life

I didn’t really have any goals for my personal life this past year, other than the usual. Get in shape, lose weight, be the best you can be. And really, that’s all I ever want, so that’s what 2016 is going to be about too. I plan to get back into the gym, starting this month. I want to eat in more than I eat out, and try to find some way to keep my (sometimes damn near crippling) anxiety at bay. I don’t know how yet, but I’ll be exploring some options to see what I can squeeze in to a schedule that already feels full to bursting. That’s the best I can do.

On that note, Welcome to 2016! I’ll be seeing you around.

Blogging, Random, Reading, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month With Fog: December Edition

This is probably going to be a short one today (yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh!), because most of my words are going to be spent on my New Year’s Goals post, coming up shortly! But I thought you guys should at least get a quick overview of what I’ve been up to this past month. So here we go!

Once More Unto the (Writing) Breach

I did a whole lot of nothing this month. And I am okay with that. I needed the time to recharge my batteries, and now I feel much more able to tackle my goals for the new year. I’ve finished outlining my plan for the year, I posted one chapter of Changing History (which to be honest, is one more chapter than I had thought I would post), and now I’m ready to jump back in with both feet!

Have You Hugged a Book Today?

ReadingChallengeDecember

I made my goal for the year! Easily! With room to spare! Yay me, let’s get into the books I read this month 🙂

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header 🙂

  • Books I’ve finished:
    1. Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis- Five Stars
    2. Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis- Five Stars
    3. Odd Hours by Dean Koontz- Four Stars
    4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling- Five Stars
    5. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld- Three Stars
  • What I’m currently reading (In order of Date Started):
    1. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss I got this for Christmas from my boyfriend. BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Seriously, the way Patrick Rothfuss writes is beautiful, but not in a boring, flowery way, it’s beautiful that really works to enhance the plot, rather than detract from it. I’m on the edge of my seat! On the one hand, I can’t wait to find out what happens. On the other hand, Pat doesn’t seem anywhere close to publishing book three and with only a short(ish) book left between them… The Great Torturous Wait is a looming inevitability.
    2. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire I got this on sale once upon a time, long, long ago, and I’m just now getting around to listening to it. It’s… okay. I like the characters, it’s made me laugh out loud a few times, but I’m a third of the way through and we still haven’t gotten to what I would consider “the good parts” yet. I remember this from reading Wicked a few years back, but I guess I had forgotten what it was like. We’ll see if my mood improves as the book goes on.
  • Book to Screen:
    1. Marvel’s Jessica Jones– I technically finished watching this in January, but I really want to talk about it. Because OH EM GEE, you guys, I can’t even! I don’t even know if I have words. This was so good. It was gritty, but in a totally different way than Daredevil. While Daredevil used mostly physical violence to invoke horror, Jessica Jones relied on the psychological aspect, something that I appreciate far more as a viewer. I can’t handle blood for blood’s sake, and I honestly find the powerlessness that comes from brainwashing and hostage-type situations much more frightening, rather than just disgusting. Not to say there wasn’t a fair amount of blood, but it all felt much more necessary, instead of added for shock value. The cast was superb (David Tennant as the villain was probably the best thing I have ever seen) and the plot twisted and turned in so many surprising ways. There are several characters that I hope might make appearances in the next Marvel shows from Netflix (Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders), but I have to say, watching Trish Walker kick a$$ and take names was probably the most satisfying part of the whole show and I look forward to a return of her character almost as much as Jessica herself.

#Hashtags and other minutia

I don’t even know if I did anything on social media this month. Let’s find out!

Do I Actually Have a Life?

Still no. I am planning to have MORE of a life, now that the new year has started! 🙂

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing- January is the month of focusing on Changing History. I am back to full writing strength, and I will be posting chapters regularly (at least once a week) and working on finishing the first draft of Entwives. I will be making a blog post detailing my plans for the year later this week.
  • Reading- This will also be in my goals post, but I’m planning to read 50 books this year! I plan to start this month, by finishing 4-5 books, which includes at least starting The Gunslinger by Stephen King and rereading Alice in Wonderland to prepare for my continuing work on my original novel.
  • Social Media- Make more of an effort in all areas. That’s the goal.
  • My Personal Life- Get back to the gym and cook more, eat out less!

That’s all for now, folks! I’ll be back later in the week, with a full breakdown of what my goals are for the new year. Have a good month, everyone! 🙂

Blogging, Crafting, Random, Reading, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month With Fog: November Edition

Oh my gosh, I feel like this past month kicked my ever-loving… You know what? Let’s just… let’s just move on, what do we have to report?

Once More Unto the (Writing) Breach

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

  • I WON!!! Barely… by like, the skin of my teeth, seriously. The first day was awesome! I wrote 5,000 words in 24 hours! I was the bomb! And then… yeah… life. It sucked out my soul. By the last week, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I probably wasn’t going to make it this year. My story was going nowhere. My characters were all lost causes. I had burned myself out too early in the year and I had nothing left. But then, through perseverance and a weekend full of coffee, I pushed through and made it to the end! If you want to see my progress this month in bar graph form go here: Wonderland Reclaimed: Into The Tulgey.   I met my goal of finishing Part Two of this novel as well, and even wrote a chapter and a half of Part Three just to make the word count 🙂 Overall, I’m fairly pleased with myself, but to be honest, I’m glad I’ve decided to take it easy in December. I have given so much of myself this year, I feel like I have nothing left in me. I need this break. But of course, I can’t really leave well enough alone, so…
  • Changing History: I’m back, baby! 😀 I thought I would be able to post chapters while doing NaNo pretty easily…

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That was just me talking crazy talk. Remind me never to do that again, okay? So, now that NaNo is over, I really am going to try to post a couple of chapters this month. No, really. Nothing crazy, because I do still have Christmas and my vacation mid-December, and this will be the only writing project I will be working on in the month of December, but this is the only way I will stay sane going into 2016. I need this month, you guys. I really need it.

Have You Hugged a Book Today?

ReadingChallengeNovember15

Look at that, still ahead! I don’t anticipate having any problems meeting my book goal this year, even taking it easy in December. Let’s see what I’ve done this month!

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header 🙂

  • Books I’ve finished:
    1. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day- Five Stars
    2. Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee- Five Stars
    3. Lady Mechanika #0- Four Stars
    4. Hawkeye Vol. 5: All-New Hawkeye- Five Stars
  • What I’m currently reading (In order of Date Started):
    1. Leviathan by Scott WesterfieldI actually did read some of this this month. It’s not bad… It’s just not holding my attention the way I thought it would. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series after this. Life being too short and all. It’s definitely gonna depend on the ending (if I ever get to it!).
    2. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by JK RowlingI am not even prepared, you guys. NOT. EVEN. PREPARED.
  • Book to Screen: I’ve… got nothing. Nothing yet anyway. There will be a lot in the next blog post, life willing 🙂

#Hashtags and other minutia

I did surprisingly well on the social media front this month! Seriously, it’s kind of hard to pick favorites, way to go me! 🙂

  • Just For Fun: Have to share the trailer for Civil War. Because this is freaking important to my life, you guys don’t even understand, I have watched this trailer like ten times. I’m not gonna survive May…

Do I Actually Have a Life?

Nope. Not even a little bit. No gym, still taking the dog to the vet, other than that I have done nothing of note (that I can think of right now). Next year is a new year, we’ll try again!

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing- I’m really trying to take the month of December off for planning and recharging. I have most of 2016 planned out already, but I think I’ll share that in a separate blog post. I really want to try to utilize this blog a bit more, so that will be part of my goals for 2016 as well. For now, I’m just going to focus on Changing History and trying to get my bearings and balance again. I gave a lot this year, I feel like it’s time for some R&R.
  • Reading- I would like to have finished the Harry Potter series by the end of the year, but I’m not sure I’ll make it. I have a few comic books to read and another audiobook that will get finished this month. I’ve been organizing my list of books to read so hopefully I will have a bit of a plan for my reading in 2016.
  • Social Media- I’m just trying to keep up. That’s it. Let’s see how it goes 🙂
  • My Personal Life- Still trying to hold off anxiety until January. I think I’ll be okay, once I get Christmas out of the way (which is always the most stressful time of the year for me). I do want to try to get back to the gym in January though, and start eating better again, but those are goals for another post 🙂

That’s all, folks! If I don’t talk to you again before, I hope everyone has pleasant, stress-free holidays with friends and family! I’ll just… be over here like…

jim-carrey-the-grinch-santa-claus

Blogging, Crafting, Random, Reading, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month With Fog: October Edition

Hey, I’m early! 😀 You guys can thank NaNoWriMo for that. Onward, to glory!

Once More Unto the (Writing) BreachNaNo-2015-Participant-Banner

  • That’s right, folks, it’s that time again! National Novel Writing Month! The month when writers around the world lose their frikkin’ minds and try to write 50,000 words in a mere thirty days! AKA- my favorite time of year 🙂 I finally decided to work on Part Two of an original work of fiction this year, Wonderland Reborn (or Reclaimed. I haven’t quite decided on the title yet :P)- Into The Tulgey Wood. I think I have successfully navigated the Five Stages of Grief regarding this work (see references to The Great Disaster of 2015 here) and am ready to move on to new words, with the understand that next year I will have to buckle down and rewrite the parts of the work that were lost. But for now, all new, all the time! Unfortunately, due to writing conflicts (and the fact that I sort of lost my mind this month), I am going to be running with only half an outline and a vague idea of the characters in this part which, if previous NaNo’s are any indication, is usually a bad thing. But I’m going to write as much as I can with what I have and hope for the best!
  • In other writing news, I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY LOKI FANFICTION!!!

It happened early in the month, and I am so very excited about it! Unfortunately because of NaNoWriMo, and upcoming holidays, and my mad dash to finish Changing History, I won’t be able to work on edits until sometime next year, but IT’S HAPPENING! IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING!!! CLARITY IS COMING TO A FANFIC SITE NEAR YOU, 2016! 😀

  • Okay, now that’s out of the way, my new writing goals have really been working out pretty well for me. I had set myself the goal this month of posting at least one chapter a week on Changing History: Second Chances, and writing 2000 new words of whatever project was next on my list every week. After I finished the first draft of Clarity (YAY!!!), I started work on the fourth and final part of Changing History. It hasn’t been going as well as I would have hoped, but at least I’m making progress. I anticipate being finished with the first draft some time in January 2016, and posting new chapters in February or March.

Have You Hugged a Book Today?

ReadingChallengeOctober15

I’m still a few books ahead of my reading schedule! I’m not failing at something, hooray! 😀

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header 🙂

  • Books I finished this month:
    1. Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan- Five Stars
    2. A Walk In The Woods: Rediscovering America On The Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson- Three Stars
    3. The Cogsmith’s Daughter by Kate M. Colby- Four Stars
      • Fun fact about this book: Kate is an independent author who writes an amazing blog about her experiences in self-publishing. She’s witty, informative, and just an all around nice person, and her book is stunning! You should support her, or at least check out her blog 🙂
    4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling- Five Stars
    5. Marvel Zombies by Robert Kirkman- Four Stars
  • What I’m currently reading (In order of Date Started):
    1. Leviathan by Scott WesterfieldI’m not even really reading this anymore. I’m going to get back to it, but I’m just too deep into this other book that I’m reading right now. Sorry 😛
    2. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia DayFelicia herself narrates the audio version of her book, and I swear to god, it is literally like she is sitting across from you at a coffee shop, sipping a mocha and telling you her life story. It’s possibly the best thing I’ve ever read. She’s so geeky and fun, and I relate to her far more than I would have ever thought possible. Felicia Day gives me hope that someday I might actually be able to make something of myself. Because if she can, then why can’t I???
  • Book to Screen: I’m gonna be honest, The Help has been sitting on top of my TV for over a month and I haven’t watched it yet. I have no excuse (unless you count catching up on Season 3 of the Arrow. In which case, I have an excellent excuse ;P). I also have not yet been able to work up to putting myself through watching Order of the Phoenix. Mostly because Umbridge. Ugh… Umbridge… I know I have to get through it to get the Half-Blood Prince, but… ugh… I’ll try to do better next month, but don’t hold your breath. NaNoWriMo, remember? 😉

#Hashtags and other minutia

I feel like social media is my nemesis in my quest to be a recognizable and successful author. Seriously, sometimes social interaction is just freaking hard, yo…

  • Just For Fun: Every year, around the time NaNoWriMo rolls around, I inevitably get this song stuck in my head. I am sharing the ear worm love with all of you. You’re welcome.

Do I Actually Have a Life?

The answer to this is a resounding “No. No, I do not.” The gym has finally become what I knew it was always destined to be: a charity donation. You’re welcome, Planet Fitness. I don’t exactly hate the stationary bikes, but they are uncomfortable as all get out if I sit on one for more than twenty minutes at a stretch and my knees are still cracking and hurting like crazy. I have no idea what I’m doing in regards to buying new shoes, though I did put forth a least a little bit of effort and went to Academy, only to discover that if I found a shoe that fit my right foot perfectly, the left foot would inevitably feel weird and uncomfortable. Apparently I have odd feet. Because, of course I do.

Fortunately, I have been substituting the gym for park walks with my dog!

Look at this adorable idiot. He has no idea what's about to happen to him. Moron. :)
Look at this adorable idiot. He has no idea what’s about to happen to him. Moron. 🙂

That’s Bear. And the only reason we are spending quality time at the park lately is because I’m preparing to drop mucho dinero on his goofball face to make him healthy. Poor baby has heartworms. Everybody say Awwwwwwww… 😦 I mean, he’s a cutie pie, and totally worth it, but still.

Anyway, that’s the news on… all of that. Hopefully gym will happen, but I’m not betting on it in November. Another charity donation to the gym! I should be able to deduct this from my taxes…

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing- NaNoWriMo. That’s pretty much it. Also, I’ve spent the last few days looking back on what I’ve accomplished this year as a writer and… it’s not much. It’s something, and I’ve learned an awful lot this year about what it’s going to take to seriously pursue this dream and what I can reasonably accomplish without feeling like my world is falling apart and I’m failing at life. But as far as actual, quantifiable progress, I don’t have much to show: a complete rewrite of my Changing History trilogy, one new first draft and most of a first draft of Changing History Part Four, and almost no progress on anything original (not including what will be happening in November). And the truth is, I think I could have accomplished so much more if I’d had a more definite plan for the year, instead of floundering halfway through, trying to decide which project should get my attention. As a result of this introspection, I’ve started a very flexible list of goals for 2016, breaking down what I would like to accomplish by month for the next 12 months. I will be posting this list in it’s entirety sometime around the end of the year so you guys can keep me accountable. Sound good? Awesome. Let’s move on!
  • Reading- Again, keep up the good work, Me! *pat on the back* Not much reading will probably get done during NaNo, but I will be listening to audiobooks and possibly reading a few more comics just to keep up.
  • Social Media- The bane of my internet existence. Why do you hate me so? Why? At least I will probably  be doing several word sprints with the NaNoWordSprints team again this year, so look for that!
  • My Personal Life- Try not to feel like a failure at life. Write. Enjoy writing. Enjoy doing what you do and don’t send yourself on a guilt trip. Hold off until January.

And that’s pretty much it! If you guys are doing NaNo, feel free to buddy up with me on the NaNo site (fogisbeautiful, just like everywhere else ;P) and I’ll try to help you if you get stuck. Just shoot me a message! Good luck!

Also, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Blogging, Crafting, Random, Reading, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month With Fog: September Edition

I’m not even gonna bother saying this is late. Ya’ll already know. Let’s get right to it!

Once More Unto the (Writing) Breach

  • I’ve changed my writing goals again. I’ve decided not to worry about how much time is spent on editing for now, and instead focus on chapters posted. Once I start editing my Loki fic, this might change, but for now it’s working for me. My word count goal has also shifted, to 2000 words a week, rather than focusing on writing every day. That’s just not feasible right now, with everything I have going on, and I get a lot done on my Monday writing nights. I mostly focus on my editing during the week and it’s been working so far.
  • I’ve been trying to decide between working on my original fiction in November or doing another finishing WriMo, like I did last year. I’m edging toward the finishing WriMo, especially if I manage to finish the editing process for Second Chances in October. But I will probably pull out the original fiction and prep it just in case. We’ll see what October brings 🙂

Have You Hugged a Book Today?

I actually forgot to screen cap my reading challenge this month, but I can safely say that I am on target! Mostly because I lowered my goal for the year 😛 Honestly, I just got tired of being so constantly behind on everything, so I lowered my challenge from 60 to 50 books. 50 books is a very reasonable goal, in my opinion, even if it is less than I read last year. I’m taking my writing a bit more seriously this year, and I’ve been spending more of my time on my yarn work as well, so I think it’s okay for me to lower my expectations just a tad, for the sake of my own sanity.

However I did read quite a few books this month, most of them comic books. One of my book clubs decided to read one comic collection a week rather than a full length book, so I got a great deal of reading done in not a lot of time 🙂 Let’s get started!

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header 🙂

  • What I’m currently reading (In order of Date Started):
    1. Leviathan by Scott WesterfieldI’m still slogging through this one. I haven’t been going to the gym very regularly, so it’s kind of taken a back burner. I may try to read it more while I’m knitting, if I can get caught up on the new fall TV line up 😛
    2. A Walk In The Woods: Rediscovering America On The Appalachian Trail by Bill BrysonThis is one of those book club reads I’ve been trying to catch up on. It started out strong, but I’ve sort of stalled about halfway through. Hopefully it will pick back up again.
    • Book to Screen:
      1. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
        • I’m not gonna lie, I cried. A lot. Pretty much every time Cedric Diggory came on screen I teared up a little. He’s even nicer in the movie than book!Cedric and that just made it worse. RIP Cedric Diggory.
        • Anyway, on to the movie itself. I noticed that this one seemed a little more… disjointed than the others. I definitely think there had to be a better starting point than Harry waking up somewhere, with no mention of where he is or how he got there, and then suddenly they’re all traipsing through the woods to god knows where. Granted if you read the book you knew what was going on, but I think that those who were only watching the movie had to be thoroughly confused. There were several inconsistencies like that and it made it feel rushed and squashed together, like you’re missing chunks (which you are). Second disappointment was the lack of mention of Snape’s mission at the end. It was one of my favorite parts of the book so I was disappointed that it was missing.
        • The good: Both of the Crouches. Bartimaeous Sr. was delightfully ambiguous and I felt a great deal more sympathy for him than I did book!Crouch. The addition of his nervous quirks was endearing. And of course I’m never going to complain about the addition of evil!David Tennant. The man is a genius and I’m actually glad the movie gave him more screen time than the book. Snape himself was also a delight to watch in this movie, as he has been in every movie. Ten stars for Alan Rickman 🙂
        • Overall, I enjoyed the movie as I have enjoyed all of them, but it felt a little less connected than the previous movies. We’ll have to see if Order of the Phoenix continues the trend. Oh god, I have to endure Umbridge… again… ugh.

#Hashtags and other minutia

  • My Favorite Tumblr Reblog: I am so excited about AKA Jessica Jones. I knew nothing about her before I found out about this show and now I want to read all of her comics! Her origin is in something called Alias, btw 😉
  • My Favorite Tumblr Post: I shared the playlist I’ve been listening to while working on my Loki fanfiction! Feel free to speculate!
  • Instagram: I am making a Tom Baker Doctor Who scarf! Here’s one of the progress photos (though I have made quite a bit more progress than this 🙂

    View this post on Instagram

    Scarf progress: Week Two! 🙂 #hpkchc #knittersofinstagram

    A post shared by Emily (@fogisbeautiful) on

  • Twitter: I did manage to make a few posts this month! Yay me! 🙂 Also, DOCTOR WHO IS BACK!!!

  • Just For Fun: You may recall a few months ago, I mentioned the epic Dubsmash War between Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. Well, it’s BACK, baby! Be sure to click the links and vote for your faves! All the Charity! 😀 

Do I Actually Have a Life?

  • C25k- My knee has not improved. For those of you who may not know, my knees have been bothering me a little bit since the beginning of this month, causing me to temporarily give up running. Using my extensive knowledge of le Google and WebMD, I have determined that my symptoms most closely resemble the symptoms of what is called “Runner’s Knee”. This is baffling to me. I do not run enough to have Runner’s Knee! Anyway, I am in the process of finding new shoes and I have bought a knee support sleeve that I have been wearing regularly the las couple of weeks. I have also, in the meantime, been trying out the exercise bikes at the gym. So far, they’re uncomfortable and I feel like a goofball. I miss running. Never thought I would type those three words in the same sentence ;P But my knee is feeling better every day, so hopefully I will be able to take up my running again next month.

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing- As of last night, I FINALLY finished the first draft of my Loki fanfiction! Hurray!  Now I can focus on what I want to do for NaNoWriMo. My goal is to actually open up the original fiction I planned to work on. *cringe* I know, but it has to be done. I’ve decided that I’ll at least open it and if it’s just too painful, I’ll close it again, no harm no foul. My friend Elissa and I have decided that I’m going through the five stages of mourning concerning this book and the Disaster that befell it about a month ago. I think I’m in the bargaining stages right now. Wish me luck.
  • Reading- Pretty simple, keep up the good work! I would like to catch up on some of my book club reads, but if that doesn’t happen, I’m okay for now 🙂
  • Social Media- I’m actually doing pretty well. I know, I’m surprised too. Keep it up, future!me 🙂
  • My Personal Life- Go to the gym more. Even if you have to ride the stupid bike. Just do it. Stop being such a whiny baby 😛

One last thing (and if you’ve made it this far into this post, congratulations!), I’ve entered Worth Living For (my Bruce Banner/OC fanfiction) into a contest on Inkitt!

If you guys have a moment, please drop by and give it a vote! I get nothing but bragging rights, but I’m really proud of this story and I would love for it to get some more recognition. Thanks!

Blogging, Crafting, Random, Reading, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month With Fog: August Edition

No getting around it, this one is late. Sorry guys, I was having trouble getting motivated and finding my words. Onward!

Once More Unto the (Writing) Breach

  • The Great Writing Plan!
    1. Words written- 7619
    2. Time edited- 8 hours
    3. Chapters posted- 4

Averaging out the three working weeks I had this past month (I’m not counting the last week of August, because everyone deserves to take a break on their vacation ;P) and evaluating the data I have available, I have decided to cut my goals by half. That will make them more achievable and keep me from losing my mojo trying to reach unattainable expectations. Look at all those big words! I’m on a roll ;P

  • Loki Fanfiction
    • I’m losing momentum on my Loki fic! 😦 This is weird because I have finally reached the point in the story that I thought was going to be easiest. I’m a little disappointed in myself, but I’m determined to power through! I’m hoping to have this fic finished by October so I can focus on preparing for NaNoWriMo.
  • Changing History
    • I’m behind here too 😦 I promise I’m gonna try harder!
  • Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I had a huge setback regarding the original novel I was planning to work on in November. I mean, huge. Like, I lost half my work and my boyfriend was afraid to talk to me because I was so upset and then took me to get ice cream and I was still upset after that, kind of huge. It’s still upsetting to me. I mean, it was all going to have to be rewritten anyway… but now I don’t even have it for reference! So my plans for NaNo might change back to finishing up fanfiction again. I know I did that last year, but I still have a lot of work to do finishing up Changing History, and I would like to get my Hobbit fanfic posted sometime in the next century, and there’s that Supernatural fic that I’ve written a few chapters on… Fanfic is my security blanket. It makes me feel better. We’ll see how it goes.

Have You Hugged a Book Today?

ReadingChallengeAugust

I didn’t make my goal again. Big surprise. But I did make some progress so there’s that 🙂

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown from last month, in case anyone would like a refresher. It’s also up in the header 🙂

  • Books I finished this month:
    • Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett- Five Stars
    • Daredevil: The Man Without Fear by Frank Miller- Four Stars
    • Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling- Four Stars
    • Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm- Four Stars
    • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson- Four Stars
    • Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love- Four Stars
    • The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum- Five Stars
  • What I’m currently reading (In order of Date Started):
    • The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett–  I’m officially taking this one off the currently reading list. It’s been on this list for four months now and I haven’t made any progress on it in at least two, so I probably need to just go back and start from the beginning anyway. But I will come back to it!
    • Leviathan by Scott Westerfield– I’m reading this based on Nerd Girl recommendation, one of the groups I’m a part of on Ravelry. I trust the judgement of these girls nearly implicitly, they have yet to lead me astray. I’ve been listening to this as part of my C25k so hopefully I will make some more progress on it this month.
    • Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden SoldiersBattles! Intrigue! Spies! BOY BLUE!!! *sobbing forever*
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix– Ugh. Let the teen angst and cringe-worthy overreactions begin. I just have to get through this book and then I can read Half-Blood Prince… It’ll all be okay… Just get through this book…
  • Book to ScreenNothing to report this month, but I plan to watch The Goblet of Fire in September, so that will be in my post next time.

#Hashtags and other minutia

Do I Actually Have a Life?

I’m skipping this section. I haven’t made any progress on anything in my real life. In fact, I’m feeling pretty discouraged at the moment. If anything changes, I’ll let ya’ll know 🙂

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing Goals
    • Words- 500 a day (2,000 a week)
    • Editing- 30 minutes a day (2 hours a week)
    • New Chapters Posted- 2 per week
  • Reading Goals

    • 45 books by the end of September (read 9 books this month, including catching up on two different book clubs)
  • Social Media- Twitter needs some love. I didn’t even retweet things this past month. I’m going to make it a goal to at least try to retweet a few things every once in a while ;P
  • My Personal Life- Just try to survive, mainly, and not fall apart or feel like a failure. That’s a good goal, right? 🙂

Sorry for the staccato nature of this post, and that it’s really late. I’ll try not to fail at life so horribly next month 🙂

Blogging, Crafting, Random, Reading, Singing, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month With Fog: July Edition

Alright, I’m back! Only a week late, so I’m calling this a win ;P Let’s get started shall we?

Once More Unto the (Writing) Breach

  • Camp NaNoWriMo
    • The Goal- Write 50k words and finish the first draft of Clarity, my Loki/OC fanfiction.
    • The Results- 63,554 words written! Woohoo!

Camp-Winner-2015-Web-Banner

As for finishing the draft… well… That didn’t actually happen. I don’t know if you guys recall from last month, but I expressed some doubts as to whether this fanfic would actually make 50k as a story. I should never doubt things like that. As per usual for me, the story has well exceeded the 50k word mark in its (very rough) first draft stage. Most of this will probably be cut and modified in editing of course, but the plot and the characters have grown and evolved into something I never would have guessed when I started (and in the process I have learned more than I thought I would ever want to know about Norse mythology). Again, I really shouldn’t be surprised, as this has frequently happened to me in the past. I am apparently incapable of writing a short story 😛 But still, I am very pleased with what has been vomited onto my hard drive so far and I’m planning to work very hard to finish the first draft before I go on vacation at the end of August! It can be done!

  • Changing History
    • Well, if any of you are following this on Archive Of Our Own, you will already know that I did not post as many new chapters as I’d planned. I think I managed to post one. Sorry about that. Loki took over my mind and soul and I could not let him go, but never fear! Now that Camp has finished, I am planning on getting back into the swing of posting semi-regularly again! Stay tuned!
  • Speaking of plans, I have one! Or, at least I have the beginnings of a plan. I’ve decided I really need to start taking this writing thing seriously, so I’ve made up a couple of guidelines that I’m hoping to follow:
    • Write 1000 new words a day (Monday thru Thursday).
    • Work on editing for one hour every day (Monday thru Thursday).
    • If I don’t manage this, work weekends (hey, just like a real job! ;P)

It’s that simple really. I’ll be keeping up with my social media/comments/other writing related internet shenanigans as time allows, but I’m hoping that if I at least stick to these two things, I will be able to make more significant progress, not just in my fanfiction work, but in my dreams of publishing my original work as well.

  • To help with the planning and keeping myself accountable, I bought a new notebook!

Notebook1

Look at those gloriously blank pages… They’re already filled with my month to month plans, as well as thoughts about months previous and how to improve my productivity, and there’s a page devoted to ideas regarding my publishing model and costs.

  • One last very important note: This past month, I discovered Jenna Moreci. You should watch her videos. For reasons. Yes. Here, I’ll even get you started!

**Warning: Adult Language and Hilarity included!**

Have You Hugged a Book Today?

ReadingChallengeJuly

My reading challenge goal didn’t get met, but that’s okay, since I was writing. I did finish a few books in July so it wasn’t a complete waste, and I’m getting back into it for August. I’m also going to try a new format for this portion of the program. The links I’ve included will take you to my review for that book on Goodreads, rather than just repeating it all here and wasting precious internet bandwidth (Save The Bandwidth!). I am going to include my star review for each book so that you know what you’re getting into. For reference here is how I determine stars for my books:

Five Stars: This book changed my life. It was so profound and wonderful that I can think of no way that it could possibly be improved upon. All the old favorites get this rating. You should read my Five Star books immediately if not sooner. Why are you not reading them yet?

Four Stars: This book was really good! No, really! I liked it! I might even read it again! But there was just that One Thing, you know? That One Thing that bugged me. Maybe it was the writing. Maybe it was a particular character. Maybe it was some unquantifiable vibe that the book just exudes for no discernible reason. You should pick it up and see if you can figure it out for yourself. If you do, let me know.

Three Stars: Eh, *shrug*. This book was okay. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read. But hey, I finished it! That should count for something, right? Probably not gonna read this one again. It might even end up in the free bin at Second and Charles. Probably not worth your time, but hey, what do I know?

Two Stars: Okay, this one was bad. No other word for it. It was bad. But there was at least one redeeming characteristic, just one glimmering thread of hope that brought it just a step above being a complete waste of my time. Maybe the writing was beautiful, but the plot sucked. Maybe there was just one stand-out character in a sea of insipid cardboard cutouts. Either way, this was not my cup of tea and I feel a little bit of regret about that. Because it could have been so much more…

One Star: Do I really have to spell this out for you? I feel like it should speak for itself. I don’t give out this review often, but when I do you can bet that the book deserves it.

Okay, now we’ve gotten all that out of the way, on to the books!

  • Books I finished this month:
  • Book to Screen (New Section! Devoted to movies and/or shows I’ve watched based on books I’ve read)
    • Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban: I rewatched Prisoner of Azkaban this month, and once again, I somehow felt a little cheated. It’s not as bad as I remember when I first watched it (I vividly remember being so disappointed the first time around that I didn’t watch the movie again for years), but still something felt a little… off. I still can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s probably the little details I miss, but whatever it is something about this movie just feels slightly off to me. I still love it, mostly because REMUS AND SIRIUS! They are, and always will be I think, my favorite Harry Potter characters, and they are nearly perfectly portrayed in this movie and in subsequent movies. I really want to know which member of the production team sold their soul for that perfecting casting. All in all, I was still a little disappointed, but not so much that I would not watch the movie again.
    • Daredevil: I FINALLY finished this show! 😀 It was amazing! Quite gory in spots, but all in all the story telling was amazing and I loved all the characters. I was actually upset when one of the villains was killed close to the end, that’s how invested I was in these characters. Amazing show, I’m looking forward to watching it all again in a marathon eventually, and I hope they come out with Season Two soon!
    • Also this just in, SHANNARA IS GOING TO BE A FREAKING TV SERIES OH MY GOD STILL NOT OVER IT NEVER GETTING OVER IT WATCH THIS TRAILER!!!

If you have not read the Shannara books by Terry Brooks, the link in the FREAK OUT above is a suggested reading list on Goodreads from the author himself. Read them! DO IT NOW! And then come back and freak out with me because THIS SHOW IS GONNA BE AMAZING!!!

#Hashtags and other minutia

I have really been putting forth some effort to stay out there and available on all my social media gizmos! Here are some highlights from the month.

Do I Actually Have a Life?

  • I joined a gym. I did this for several reasons, not the least of which is what might possibly be the worst case of social anxiety I have ever experienced. In June I started running at a park that is close to my place, and it was nice… but then people started talking to me. Now, I have no problem with a friendly “Hi, how you doing?” in passing. But I am not outside, sweating my butt off and jiggling my fat rolls around, to socialize. I actually would prefer it if no one noticed that I was existing in these particular moments of my life. There is a reason I wear bright pink headphones and prominently display my phone on my arm. I don’t want to talk to you. It’s nothing personal. I don’t want to talk to anyone. But if you speak, I have this weird Pavlovian instinct to respond, even if on the inside I’m thinking “WHY DID I DO THAT? ARGH!”

Plus, really, triple digit weather is just too dang hot. Even going in the evenings. Too dad-gum hot.

So, yeah, I joined a gym! I haven’t done much with it yet, I’ve been really busy writing, but I’m hoping to get back into my C25k again, hopefully regularly now.

  • Speaking of C25k, I made Week Two! Of course then I immediately backslid and the next time I went to the gym, I didn’t make it. I’ll have to keep trying until I can keep it up, but I made it once, I can do it again!
  • Under the heading of “Weirdly unrelated news that is apropos of absolutely nothing” I’ve started playing My Singing Monsters:
Friend Me! Code 30574047FH
Friend Me! Code 30574047FH

God help me, but I love their cute little stupid faces… Peggy Erickson, I blame you!

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing Goals- Keep up with the new writing plan (which has already changed a few times since I decided on it). Post three chapters of Changing History a week. Finish the first draft of Clarity (Loki/OC fic).
  • Reading Goals- Since the end of August will officially mark the three-quarters mark of the year (HOLY CATS, WHAT?) I’m going to make a sincere effort to hit that mark on my reading challenge. This means I will be reading A LOT of comic books. Starting with the rest of the volumes of Fables that I own, plus whatever else I can get my hands on because I NEED IT. Be prepared for a Reading section like you’ve never seen before in next month’s Wrap-Up post ;P
  • Social Media- Twitter probably won’t see much action in the coming months, but I’m going to be trying to stay active on Tumblr and Instagram at least. Feel free to hit me up there with questions, comments, random pictures of furry animals (because YES PLEASE!), anything really, I love hearing from you guys!
  • My Personal Life- Keep up with the Couch25k. No, really. NO EXCUSES! Also, I will be going on VACATION the last week of August! WHOOPWHOOP! I will still be mostly available, but be prepared for an Epic Vacation Post of Epic upon my return!

And that’s it! This is still a huge post, but I’m working on that! I’ll get it whittled down, little by little until it’s manageable. Until then!

Blogging, Crafting, Random, Reading, Writing

Wrappin’ Up The Month with Fog: June Edition

So, since I’m not doing much else with this blog thing, I’ve decided to try something new. I have no idea if it will work. I have no idea if I want it to work. But I figure, what do I have to lose by trying, right? ;P So, welcome to the first edition of Wrappin’ Up The Month with Fog! In these posts, I will attempt to recap what I’ve been doing for the past month and what I would like to do in the month(s) to come. Be warned, this post is long so let’s get to it, we don’t have a lot of time here.

Once More Unto the (Writing) Breach

  • So, the writing thing. Let’s start with fanfiction. I’ve been working diligently on Changing History rewrites, but not much else. I’ve also been trying to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo July, but that hasn’t gone nearly as well as I’d hoped. I’ve been pretty distracted by rewrites and other not-so-important things. But yeah, I’ve made it most of the way through the rewrites now, and I’ve decided that once I’ve finished rewriting Second Chances, I’m just going to jump right into posting Part Four, Search For The Entwives, even though the first draft isn’t finished (which is irking me, by the way).
  • As far as original work goes, I have started formulating a plan for one of my stories, an Alice in Wonderland reimagining that I started as a NaNoWriMo project a few years back. I think this story is going to be my NaNo2015 project. I don’t want to get into too much detail, as it’s all pretty hazy at this point, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it, how I want to present it and market it, which is more progress than I’ve made in a very long time. I will keep everyone updated as this seed of a plan develops.

Have You Hugged a Book Today?
ReadingChallengeJune

  • Books I finished this month
    1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban– I’ve been rereading the Harry Potter books on audio for the past couple months and I finally got to my favorite of the entire series. Book Three was my favorite book the first time through, and I am happy to report that it has held up to the high standards I had set for it. I’d also like to say that, even though I know all the major plot twists, it has been so much fun to reread the books again with a new perspective. I’m also watching the movies as I re-read the books and I’m enjoying comparing them to each other. I haven’t watched PoA yet, but I’m looking forward to it. This re-read has also inspired thoughts of a new fanfiction (big surprise, I know ;P) and I’m having fun imagining my new character in each of the books.
    2. Nation by Terry Pratchett– I started this book as a book club read in April. I managed to get about halfway through, but April was a pretty busy month for me, so I didn’t manage to finish it before the library required it back. I finally got it back from the library early this month… and finished it in one night. I couldn’t put it down. It was just so beautifully written. It’s hard to describe really. And the end took my breath away. It was really, really good and I highly recommend it, especially if you’ve never read Pratchett before, and are intimidated by all of the Discworld books. This is a separate book all on its own, so you can get a feel for how he writes, without committing to a whole series. Basically, it’s wonderful.
  • What I’m currently reading (in order of date started)
    1. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett– I started this back in April, but as I said before, April was a busy month for me. I’m planning to start it back up in July, if I can get a few of my book club reads out of the way first. What I read was good though, I’m excited to really dig into the Discworld books from the beginning!
    2. Inuyasha #2: Family Matters– I received a stack of these mangas as the result of a book swap on Ravelry. Inuyasha is a guilty pleasure from my failed community college days, when I would stay up until all hours of the night to watch repeats of the anime on Cartoon Network. I recently discovered that the entire series is on Hulu, which has renewed my love of the series. As I usually do with this kind of thing, I’m enjoying comparing the manga to the anime. So far, it is very similar, but there are some things in the translations that are much funnier in the book. It’s been very entertaining so far, and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.
    3. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie– This is also a Ravelry book club read, that I was actually supposed to finish this month, but didn’t have a chance. I’m planning to finish it up in the first week of July, so I can join the discussion. As far as the book itself, I’ve really been enjoying the mystery! I have no idea who the killer is, but I have several theories that change with every page I read. This is the first of the Hercule Poirot books and also my first Agatha Christie and I already can’t wait to read more! I also found it ironic that my first Christie novel, the murder victim is named Emily… Coincidence? I think not! ;P
    4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum– This is my “running” book. I have it on audio from Librivox on the Nook Audiobook app (free audiobooks, hurray!) and I’ve been listening to it as I try to run my Couch to 5k program. It’s just as lovely and magical as I always imagined it would be. I have laughed so much at the different characters and I’m enjoying watching the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion work through all these obstacles with traits that they all claim not to have. I think there might even be a message about self-confidence in there somewhere, but I’ll save that for a book review.
    5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett– This is an audiobook I got used for six dollars. And it is possibly the best six dollars I have ever spent. I’ve heard so much about this book, but somehow no one ever told me it’s a book about writing a book! How is it that no one ever told me this??? And I love the characters so much, every single one of them (okay, maybe not Hilly so much, but everyone else has at least a few redeeming qualities ;P). It’s written in different points of view, Abilene, Minnie, and Skeeter, and the actresses who read the different parts are perfect. I have laughed, I have cried, and I haven’t even finished the book yet! I can’t wait to watch the movie and compare!
    6. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson– This is a book I recently started on impulse while I was knitting. I wanted something to do that wasn’t watching television. I’m not terribly far into it, but I am intrigued by the differences I can already see between the original material and the interpretations that I’m familiar with. It’s definitely creepy and I can’t wait to find out more.

#Hashtags and other minutia

I admit, I have not been very active on social media lately. Frankly, it’s been a little overwhelming. But here are a few of the highlights from June:

  • My Favorite Tumblr ReblogReblogJune
  • My Favorite Tumblr PostTumblrPostJune
  • Two faves from Instagram:IG1June IG2June
  • And one more from Tumblr, just for fun ;PJFFJune

Do I Actually Have a Life? (real life stuff that happened)

Alright, as I mentioned briefly in the reading section (under The Wizard of Oz) I am trying out one of those Couch to 5k apps. The app I’m using is C25K Free for Android, just in case anyone is interested. It’s a pretty cool app, it runs simultaneously with my Nook Audiobook app, so I can listen to my book and the C25K app pauses my book to tell me when to run and when to walk, so I don’t miss anything.

I have managed to work my way up to Week One this month, which is an accomplishment for me. I found a little park not far from where I live that has a sidewalk for running/walking. It’s pretty and I get to spend about an hour listening to an audiobook and trying not to feel self-conscious. I keep telling myself that it’s good for me, not just my body but my mental state as well, but I’m not seeing any results yet. Basically all I’ve accomplished is discovering that my ankles hurt all the time and spending a ton of money trying to find ankle supports I can wear with my shoes. But I’m gonna try to stick with it, despite my tough schedule and the intense heat down here in Texas. It hasn’t been too bad where I live yet and I make sure to go just as the sun is setting so it’s cooler, but man, it is something else. I’ll try to remember to post my updates on my Twitter (and consequently Facebook) so you guys can keep up with this insanity. I have no idea what I’m doing.

“And In Conclusion…”

  • Writing: July is Camp NaNoWriMo! I plan to write the first draft of a brand new fanfiction, a Loki/OC set during the year of his imprisonment in Asgard (Thor: The Dark World). In the event that the first draft does not make 50k words (which, if I’m being honest, is pretty likely), I’m going to write up the first draft of a short continuation of my Bruce Banner/OC, Worth Living For. Basically, this is the month of Avengers writing! I am going to attempt to continue to post at least one rewritten chapter for Changing History, but that is not my priority this month.
  • Reading: Finish The Mysterious Affair at Styles and start up The Color of Magic again, for sure. I’m also going to try to get my book challenge down to the halfway mark. I have a stack of comics that need to be read, which should help with that 😉
  • Social Media: I am going to try to post more frequently. No really, I solemnly swear! Even just scrolling through Tumblr and reblogging things, or posting to Instagram with what I’m knitting and/or crocheting. I’m also going to try to add more of those posts to my Facebook and Twitter. Since I’m working on something new for Camp, keep an eye on the Twitter feed, I’ll probably be doing some word sprints with the NaNoWriMo Word Sprint peeps!
  • My personal life: Honestly, I just want to get through Week Four of my Couch to 5k. If I do that, I will feel like I’ve accomplished something. And I have Tour de Fleece coming up in July as well, which is a challenge to spin yarn while the champion bike racers spin the Tour de France. I’m looking forward to it, especially in light of the weird amount of attention this post got on my tumblr a few months ago 😛 Keep an eye on my Instagram and Tumblr for updates!

And that’s it! I promise, not all of these posts will be this long, but I am going to try to make one at the end of every month, just to keep everyone abreast of my activities. We’ll try this out for a few months and then reassess the situation, so let me know what you think! And now, I’m off to prepare for Camp NaNo! 😀

Random

Fun Fact!

So yesterday, the boyfriend and I were watching Good Eats with Alton Brown and we came upon this fun fact:

“In America in the 1930’s and 1940’s spinach was a slang term for nonsense.”

(…)

Do you know what I think?  I think we need to bring this back.  I mean, come on!

  • “Ain’t nobody got time for that spinach!”
  • “This spinach is getting out of control!”
  • “Stop talking spinach!”

And my personal favorite:

  • “That’s a bunch of spinach!”

image

Spinach… not just for the salad bowl.