The weavings of life's subplots . . .I could hardly believe it. Me? Among the top ten?
Let's just say it was a good thing my work shift was short, and even better that I was working in the back room the whole time. I seriously doubt I would've been much help to customers. My brain was running in ecstatic circles, screaming the same thing over and over: "I'm a finalist!" As if repetition would make it sink in.
Needless to say, that was an amazing way to start my month!
The next subplot of life to be woven in was a week-long trip my parents took, during which I ran the household. Not that it needed much running. My siblings are fantastic and helped out a lot. (Love you guys!)
The morning after my parents returned, I packed up and headed out of town for my dear friend's wedding. I got there the day before to help set up and decorate. The wedding was gorgeous. The weather was perfect for outdoor pictures (meaning I didn't go completely numb like I'd expected), I had so much fun with the bride and my fellow bridesmaids, and the ceremony and reception were beautiful! My friend has found an amazing, godly young man. They're perfect together. I was honored to celebrate their special day with them. And you know how most weddings have something that goes wrong? There was nothing like that for theirs. Crazy amazing.
(I snagged a couple pictures off the photographers' Facebook.)
|The happy couple!|
|If you look really closely at the left picture,|
I'm the bridesmaid on the far right.
|a collage of my own pictures|
Spring is well on its way. Only a teensy tiny bit of snow is left on the yard, and we've had some sunny, warm days, which is very welcome. (And also snow. Falling from the sky. That's just Manitoba for ya.)
You know that quick decision I made that just felt right? Well, that decision was to sign up for a writing course offered by an author I respect and admire. What he's already posted freely online has helped me gain new perspectives, so I'm excited to dive into the actual course material soon.
My brother and I attended a college info night. The application is sitting on my desk, waiting for me to fill it out. I'm honestly so excited for fall!
And basically there were Easter gatherings, long walks, errands, way too much pizza, journaling like crazy last weekend to try to sum up my month, and falling behind on my inbox and blog reading. (So sorry, folks.)
Storylines on screenAs you can see, life's goings-on didn't leave a lot of room for media, but I did watch a few things.
- Epic (rewatch): I love this movie about tiny leaf men who ride hummingbirds, and a villain rotting the forest, and a young girl trying to connect to her absentminded father. This time around, I found myself paying more attention the storytelling techniques, and appreciating the strong chain of cause and effect.
- The Scorch Trials: I haven't read the books, so I don't know how much it deviated from the source material, but I thought it was good. My biggest problem was with the frequent swearing. Not too sure what I think about the Cranks, either. I couldn't decide if they were so exaggeratedly creepy that they were almost comical, or if they were simply creepy. Either way, they are wince-worthy. But I did really enjoy certain characters, especially Thomas, Minho, and Newt. (I don't even know why, but I've loved Minho's character since The Maze Runner.) With fast pacing, awesome scenery, and even a difficult and thought-provoking ethical dilemma, The Scorch Trials was a great sequel.
- Once Upon a Time (part of Season 3): You probably saw this coming, huh? My sisters and I are quite enjoying this season! We're about halfway through, and lots is happening. Lots. I have a few minor complaints, but most of it is fantastic. Peter Pan. The Wicked Witch. And the development happening in some of the key characters makes me a really happy Oncer. (Is that what they're called? I don't even know.)
Storylines on the pageOnly two books this month. To be fair, I am 100 pages into my third book, but seeing as I'll finish it in April, it doesn't count.
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I've heard mixed reviews on this one, so finally I picked it up for myself. And I loved it! The whole cyborg element was a fresh twist on Cinderella, and it was fun to pick out the references to the original fairy tale, such as the old fashioned orange car (aka pumpkin coach). This novel was by turns intriguing, heart wrenching, and adorable. Seriously, I ship Cinder and Kai SO MUCH. With every chapter I finished, I kept wanting to write up a fangirly email to send the author, but then I remembered this was published and I wasn't beta reading a friend's book. For some reason it felt like I was. Anyway. If I starred books, I'd probably give this one four and a half!
- Paige Turned by Erynn Mangum: This is the final instalment of the Paige Alder trilogy that I started last summer, and it continued to be what the first two books were: fun, lighthearted romance with surprisingly profound moments. Paige is such a relatable character. I was rooting for her all the way. It was great to see her finally doing what she's always wanted to do, and finally dating the "right guy." And the ending was perfect!
Clockwise from top left: Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge, Storm Siren by Mary Weber, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and Greatest Adventures by Jules Verne (a 2-book collection including Journey to the Center of the Earth and Round the World in 80 Days.)
I bought Captivating because I enjoyed it so much earlier this year, but didn't have my own copy. Storm Siren because I've heard many people like it, so for a couple dollars, why not? (Also that cover!!) Strange & Norrell because my good friend Sarah recommended it numerous times. And the Jules Verne book because . . . well, mainly because of that delicious old cover. And because owning classics makes me feel smart. Hey, just being honest!
With every book faire I go to, I keep my eyes open for any Diana Wynne Jones books--specifically Howl's Moving Castle--and have had no such luck. This time was just as fruitless in the DWJ department as all the times before. Sigh.
Subplots of my own makingAccording to my monthly goals, March was to be the month I began drafting (or redrafting, to be more accurate) book 2 of my YA fantasy series. I didn't get as far into it as I might have liked, but considering the circumstances, I'm quite pleased with the 7,786 words I wrote. I'm on chapter three by now. Things be happening, folks.
I feel like I'm starting to hit my stride. The beginning of a writing project is usually the slowest for me--I'm getting used to the story, oftentimes reorienting my brain into drafting mode (instead of editing or planning mode), and figuring out what I'm doing. But I'm beginning to get back into it, and I have high hopes for April's writing.
Once I'm further along--perhaps once I've finished writing this book and started editing--which means like *cough* a year from now?--I may have to write a more in-depth post about sequels. It's so weird to write one! I've been stuck on book 1 for so long, in which I've been able to mentally check off all the techniques and elements needed in a first book. "Yep, this sets up that plot thread. Here's the incident that motivates Character A to do this. And there's the foreshadowing for that . . ."
It's all different, and yet all somehow similar, in a sequel. There's a whole book behind you to build on. It's a blessing and a curse, a pro and a con. You don't have to set up everything all over again, yet you have to reference the first book in a clear, concise way that moves this story along. Your characters have grown, so they're better at what they used to struggle with, but at the same time, they're struggling even harder with other things. It's fun, but definitely not easy.
Also in writing news is something I've mentioned already: I was featured in a guest post on Stori Tori's Blog called So Your Character is From Canada. I had tons of fun participating, as well as getting to interact with commenters afterwards. If you haven't checked it out yet, there's lots of great stuff to learn from all three of us who were interviewed! Kudos to Tori for such a brilliant series of posts. There'll be more on other countries yet.
Oh yeah, and I wrote a poem for the first time in months, which you can find here.
And I did a bit more agent research too. The list of potentials is slowly growing . . .
March was a whirlwind, but I'm still alive.Actually, it was an amazing whirlwind. Tiring on some days, but when I look back on just how much was packed into this month, I'm--what? Content? Excited? Satisfied? Looking forward to April? Is there a word that combines all of the above? I don't know. March was a good month.
So how about your wonderful selves? Was March like a lamb or lion for you--tame or wild? (Or some other animal, such as a platypus. Interpret that creature simile as you wish.) I've blabbered on quite long enough about my own life. Now I want to hear something about yours!
P.S. Today marks one year since Adventure Awaits began! I had grand plans of posting this S&S yesterday, and having a blogoversary post ready for today, but I overestimated the time involved and underestimated my schedule. So hopefully I'll have a late blogoversary thingamajig ready for this weekend sometime. Stick around--it should be fuuuun . . .