Saturday, December 3, 2016

Subplots and Storylines - November 2016

I don't know how it's physically possible, but somehow this month seems even fuller than the last!

November opened with my birthday, which I celebrated a bit differently than other years in order to fit with my school schedule. Later on in the month, we also celebrated my lil' sister's birthday.

I grew a bit more in my public speaking skills: I was called to answer Q&A in one of our communicators meetings, I was the timer for another meeting, and a classmate and I got to preach a mini message to the youth volunteers.

My class and I helped build our church's float for the city's Santa Clause Parade, which was so fun, especially because we also got to participate in the actual parade, walking alongside our beautiful float.

There was a last-minute event I volunteered at, a youth worship night, a youth talent show, Christmas shopping, friend stuff, and my first exam of the year.

And through it all, my little corner of the world disguised itself as London, with miserable rain mixed with melting snow, and some of the densest fog I've ever seen.


Very little this month. I watched the last episode of Once Upon a Time Season 4 with my sisters (oh my goodness, THAT ENDING) and saw some more of Season 1 with my parents.


(I searched high and low for an image of my copy. This ain't it.)

Journey to the Center of the Earth // Jules Verne
I wanted to read one of the unread, second-hand books on my shelf, and randomly picked this one. It was more enjoyable than I expected, quite honestly. I remember not totally loving Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea during high school, and while Journey does pause now and then to dump facts on the reader, it keeps a good pace overall. And it was funny! Axel and his enthusiastic uncle, Professor Liedenbrock, make an amusing pair.

[Professor] "Do you remember a visit the famous English
chemist Humphrey Davy paid me in 1825?"
[Axel] "No, I don't. For the very good reason that I wasn't
born until nineteen years later."

Was the book scientifically accurate? Probably not, seeing as it was written in the 1800s, but it was still fun to pretend that Verne's theories could be true, to envision a whole new world beneath the earth's crust. My biggest quibble was the ending. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but let's just say the characters didn't accomplish quite as much as I expected they would.

Prophet // R.J. Larson
I loved it! I haven't read very many fantasies with a Biblical type of setting, so that was neat. I found it especially intriguing to follow Ela's journey as a Prophet of the Infinite, to see how it mirrored real prophets in the Old Testament. She was so compassionate even when she had to communicate the Infinite's judgment on people who deserved it. (That compassion is a trait I need to grow in.) I adored Kien, a charming ambassador who spends a goodly amount of time in prison and has a strong appreciation for food. Ela's little sister, Tzana, was sweet and sympathetic.

The plot slowed down a bit once or twice, or maybe that was just me taking a long time to finish the book. There was another seventy-ish pages after the big climax, so I was expecting a plot twist, but instead I got an abrupt segment of story that might have been better left for the beginning of book two. I also had some thoughts to sort through about the Infinite, who seemed loving but also enforced a works-based sort of faith among His people . . . but then I remembered that this is, in effect, the Old Testament, and a savior is not part of the story yet. (There might be one later in the trilogy?)

Don't let either of those things stop you from reading, though! Prophet is a wonderful, refreshing book that took the fantasy genre down a less well-trodden path. Between readings, my mind kept going back to the story--definitely the mark of a good book.


I felt a lot more productive this month than I have in quite a while! I wrote a poem for the first time in forever,* and wrote 9,497 words in The Prophet's Key. That's more than I've written since college started, so I was happy. I'm close to the halfway point in my outline, too. The villains are gaining the upper hand, so the whole situation is about to change for the worse for my protagonists!

*breaks into song (I listened to the Frozen soundtrack earlier this week, okay?)

I've also set my writing goals FOR THE REST OF 2016 (and a little bit more), so I am super pumped. I want to reach 80k by Christmas, which means writing almost 10k in three weeks. Then the goal is to utilize my Christmas break to add another 20k, which will bring the book to 100k. Then if I can finish the whole first draft by springtime/the end of college/sometime around there . . . I just may have enough time to rewrite The Brightest Thread into a full novel so I have something to pitch at the Realm Makers Conference.



I'm that crazy.

And as I look at the things filling up my December calendar, I'm questioning the sanity of that plan even more. But if you shoot for the moon and miss, you still land among the stars and all that jazz.*

*Except not really. Because the stars are light-years away. So if I miss the moon, you can find me floating aimlessly in space or headfirst in a crater on earth somewhere.


Just trying out a new feature in S&S. We'll see if I have enough material for it each month.

I learned about the DISC personality system in college, and found out that I'm a CSD. To give you some background, D=dominant/driver/determined, I=influencing/inspiring/impulsive, C=compliant/correct/cautious, and S=supportive/stable/steady. A CSD is otherwise known as a Contemplator. Basically, I like to get things done, and get them done well. I'm detailed and logical; have high standards; precise but competitive; sensitive to others around me; a natural peacemaker; etc. Reading through the full descriptions, I was amazed at how accurate most of it was! Now that I know the personalities of my other classmates, I hope to develop better ways to communicate with all of them.

I started experimenting with bullet journaling in an old notebook of mine, just to see if I like it. So far I do, though I'm not quite happy with the layout. Hence the term experiment. Come the new year, if I'm still enjoying the practice, I'll start fresh in a brand new notebook and go from there.

So how was your November? Anything out of the ordinary, or perhaps ordinary but still worth mentioning? Have you ever taken the DISC test? All ye lionhearted NaNo'ers--how did it go? And who's all cranking the Christmas carols now that we're in December?


  1. *dances into the comments section because I'M FREE*

    Ahem. NaNo is over so I can now resume reading blogs...well, sort of. I'm not very good in this arena anyway. ;P We shall see if I manage to keep on top of your posts. (It's probably not going to happen. *coughs*)

    I know I already told you happy birthday and everything (and still have yet to reply to your lovely email), but HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN, JUST BECAUSE. I'm glad you had a good day. ^_^

    Ohhh, I had LOTS of public speaking to do in November also. *nods* It was actually better than I expected...but I'm not saying I enjoyed it. ;) I gave two speeches in November and discovered that playing violin in front of people is MUCH worse than speaking in front of them. *cringes because my recital is only a week away*

    Ooh, a parade? That sounds like fun! Our city never does parades that I know of, but we can always drive a little ways away to see them. :D

    *pretends not to be jealous of your London-ish weather* *fails*

    You got more reading done than I did! XD I was four books ahead in my reading challenge before November...and am now two books behind. o.o #oops I read Journey to the Center of the Earth in middle school, but I'm afraid I found it a bit boring as a youngster. Maybe I would like it better now? But eep, I REALLY want to read Prophet! I have the ebook so maybe I'll get to that soon. ^_^

    EEP, YOU GOT A LOT WRITTEN! Almost 10k is impressive, especially with all you had going on! But what is this I see...did you mention Realm Makers?!



    :O :O :O

    TRACEY, THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN. I'm trying to convince my parents and save up enough money, but it looks like I might be able to go. EEP. I WANT THIS TO WORK OUT SO BAD. *needs to meet my Tracey* *like soon*

    I remember you mentioning the DISC personalities in an email! But I'm afraid it's confuzzling my brain because I'm so used to MBTI personalities. XD AND A THOUSAND TIMES YES TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC. I actually started listening to it in October. Don't judge. ;)

    I loved reading about what happened in your November! AND GOSH, SOMEONE HELP ME CALM DOWN. I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT REALM MAKERS AHHH.

    1. *devours Mary's comment* YOU'RE FREE AGAIN, HOORAY! Heh, I've not been doing so well at keeping up with people's posts lately either, so I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. XD

      Aww, thank you. That's really sweet. ^_^ It feels like my birthday happened ages ago, when really it's been just over a month.

      You too? November must've been the month of public speaking. I'm glad it went better than expected! See, it's not so horrifically nightmare-inducing, is it? ;) (And you have a recital coming up...sounds exciting! Also nerve-wracking! You've got this, girl.)

      That's good there are parades within driving distance. They're such fun. I felt so proud of our float--many, many hours were put in by a lot of volunteers to get it ready.


      Two books behind is NOT bad at all! I'm 21 books behind. *sobs* Then again, I did set it at 52, which is what I read last year when I was much less busy. :P
      Yeah, you might like Journey to the Center of the Earth better now. It did have a few slow parts, but I appreciated the humor, especially around the beginning. YES YES YES, READ PROPHET, READ IT NOW. OR SOON. BECAUSE IT'S GOOD. You will fall in love with Kien, I'm quite sure. ^_^

      Thanks, girlie!

      OH. MY. WORD. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! :O You're wanting to go to Realm Makers in summer too???? *screams* That would be amazing! I'm reeeeaaaaally hoping to go as well. In fact, I've been saving loose change to help pay for it, been meaning to research cheap flights, and been praying/believing for it all to work out! *badly needs to meet my Mary too*

      Haha, yes, I'm still partial to the Myers-Briggs as well. I think the DISC system is used more in business settings? Anyways, I find it a helpful test as well, especially in how it applies to communication, relationships, and teamwork.
      You start listening to Christmas music in October. o.o Wow. I love the enthusiasm...I just couldn't start so early myself, otherwise I'd be tired of the carols before December even started. XD

      Thank you so much! Now I'm all excited and antsy over here too! Ack, I hope we both get to go!!!

  2. November was insane. o.O I feel like everyone is taking a deep breath now that it's December, but that may just be me. Still, I loved November! I AM excited about December though. I LOVE DECEMBER.

    Did I wish you a happy birthday???? I feel like we discussed it at some point...? But I don't knooow! D: In case I didn't: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY DEAR TRACEY!!! *gives you cupcakes*

    That is SO fun you got to be in a parade. I've been in a couple (yeeeeears ago) and they were a blast! ^_^

    Oh, I've had Prophet on my GoodReads to-read shelf for the LONGEST. It looks like a really neat book. To hear you enjoyed it makes me want to read it even more!
    I've never read Journey to the Center of the Earth myself. I've always kiiinda wanted to but...I never get around to classics, so. :-/

    You wrote another poem? EEP. That's wonderful!!!! :D And look at all those words! I never cease to be amazed at how you continuously make progress on your story while doing college AND having a job. You're an inspiration!

    And oh gracious goodness! Speaking of you being an inspiration, your writing plans! :O YOU ARE AMAZING. And you're right, we SHOULD shoot for the moon! You're inspiring me to go do alllll the writerly things! I know you can do it, you amazing writer you!

    I have never heard of the DISC personalities! Oooh dear, I foresee a new obsession in my future. Once I learned about MBTI there was no going back for me. XD I'm so fascinated by these types of things. #Nerd Yes, I must look into this!! Thank you for sharing with us. And from what you've said of the CDS type, that absolutely sounds like you. A peacemaker, a hard worker...all the things!

    I hope you have the most amazing December and get everything accomplished that you want to. YOU CAN DO IT!!! (And I've been listening to Christmas music for weeks now. *grins*)

    1. No kidding! You had a crazy month too, what with writing your monstrously sized novel! How's the climax going??

      I don't even remember... o.o It's all a bit of a blur, honestly! BUT THANK YOU, DARLING, FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES! <3 *devours cupcakes*

      Neat! Parades are a lot of fun.

      I think you'd really enjoy Prophet! I'm looking forward to starting book 2 (Judge) sometime soonish. (So many series to read, it's hard to pick which one to pick back up next.)
      Heh, I hardly get around to classics either, but the mood struck me, so... *shrugs* XD

      You're a professional cheerleader or something, you know that? Always so inspiring! It means a lot to have friends like you cheering me on with every step, whether big or small. <3 Glad to hear the inspiration is rubbing off on both of us! (Especially since I can't believe you're even capable of feeling inspired in a writerly way after your insane November wordcount. You are amazing.)

      Haha, I was the same way with MBTI! (Which type are you again? I seem to remember you're a pretty even blend of two E-something-something-somethings. So specific. XD) But yes, the DISC is pretty cool--I found out things about myself I've never put into words before.
      Aww, you. ^_^

      YOU TOO, CHRISTINE! I hope the remainder of your novel wraps up smoothly (*wipes a tear*) and that you have a wonderful, relaxing Christmas season!

  3. Happy belated birthday to you and to your sister!

    I read 20000 Leagues Under the Sea this year, but thought that Around the World in 80 Days was the better book. Maybe I'll give Jules Verne another try, and read Journey to the Center of the Earth.

    I think it was two years ago when I read Prophet and its sequel, Judge. I loved the idea of having a story based of Old Testament times.

    I sure hope you make it to Realm Makers with your story! I'd love to do the same, someday.

    "And through it all, my little corner of the world disguised itself as London" I love your descriptions of local weather! I suppose you had much more fun describing it than experiencing it, eh?

    1. Thank you! I've passed on the birthday greetings to her too. :)

      Hmm, I'll have to try Around the World in 80 Days too. I know my brother enjoyed that one. He has a humongous volume of several Jules Verne stories that makes him look rather scholarly when reading it. XD

      Cool! Have you read King, the third book? I agree, the setting was fabulous.

      Aww, thanks--I would LOVE for you to attend Realm Makers someday too! It would be amazing to meet you in person there! :D

      LOL, true. I was briefly enamored by the eerie, mysterious look of such dense fog...but then I had to strain my eyes to see where I was going and be careful not to outrun my headlights! XD

  4. Happy birthday to you and your sister!!!!
    And Once Upon a Time...!! It's so great!! :D
    I had no idea Journey to the Center of the Earth is so old! I need to read that, and R.J. Larson's Prophet Trilogy, too!
    Congratulations on your novel progress!! Speaking of Realm Makers, did you know that they're doing a low word-count goal version of NaNoWriMo in January? There's a Facebook event for it, if you're interested: :)

    1. Thank you, Olivia!

      I agree, OUAT is such a fun show! Are on the current season?

      Yes, read them both! Especially Prophet. ;)

      Thanks--it felt good to write a bit more this month. No, I didn't know about that. I tried following the link, but it wouldn't let me see the page. Probably because I don't have a FB account. :P Is there any other way to see it?

      Hope you have a splendiferous December! Thanks for commenting!

    2. I think Facebook is the only way to see it, seeing as it's not an official NaNo event. :(

      As to Once Upon a Time, I finished season five, but I'll probably wait until the next season comes onto Netflix. ;)

      And thanks! I hope your December is wonderful, as well!! :D

    3. Aw, that's too bad. But thank you for sharing!

      Oooh, how exciting. I can't wait to begin watching season five. :D

  5. Loved this post, Tracey!!
    HAPPY HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY YOU AMAZING HUMAN BEAN! *confetti* *fireworks* *lots and lots of cupcakes* I hope you had an amazing day!
    Aren't parades so funnnn?! My mom, some of my siblings, and I walked in a couple of parades this summer. We handed out free passes to a skating rink by our house--and then we went skating after the parades!
    (oh, and btw, Savannah and I were laughing at your little asterisk thing about floating aimlessly around in space or landing headfirst in a crater. XD You bring joy to our hearts! =))
    Oooh, bullet journaling! I've heard about it, but I've never done it before. I think I should start though, because I feel like my days are in dire need of some scheduling. XD
    And yessss, we are listening to Christmas music! *whispers* We actually started listening to it the day before Thanksgiving, but that's just between you and I. ;)
    We've had quite the fun November! I got to do a photo-session with some very good friends of ours, we and some extended family went to go watch my sister perform in her orchestra recital, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving (family and hymn singing and Turkish delight and more filled up that whole glorious day =)) and we set up the Christmas tree!
    I hope you have the best December!

    1. Thanks, Ariel! :D I did have a great day, and I appreciate those birthday wishes! *ducks the fireworks and eats cupcakes*

      That sounds fun! LOL, at first I read that paragraph wrong, and couldn't figure out how in the world you could go skating after a summer parade...and then I remembered that indoor rinks are a thing. XD (I've always skated outside, so that's my excuse for that undeniably blonde moment!)

      (Haha, you bring joy to mine too. XD)

      I love writing out schedules and to-do lists, so it seems like a good match for me. If I could just remember to do it consistently every day! :P

      Looks like I'm the oddball, waiting until December to really pull out the Christmas tunes! XD (I'm also assuming that was American Thanksgiving you're referring to...)

      That does sound like a great November! I'm always in awe of/slightly envious of people who play classical instruments. ('Specially piano, cello, or violin. *swoons*) Your Thanksgiving sounds like a blast too, and Turkish delight will forever remind me of Narnia. ;)

      I hope you have a wonderful month as well, Ariel! ^_^

  6. Ahhhh you're going to Realm Makers next conference? o.o That is awesome. I want to go someday.

    And for another ahhhh, you read Prophet! <3 I have immense love for that book. And they just get better as the series goes along!

    And for my third ahhhh, YOU CAN DO THE WRITING THING. Eeep you're getting so far!! <3

    1. Well, that's my plan/hope/dream! I've been wanting to attend for a while, and this is the first year it looks like a possibility. So. Quite exciting. I hope you get to go someday too!

      Wasn't it good? Kien is probably my favorite...looks like it's him pictured on the cover of Judge, I think, which makes me happeh. ^_^


  7. Hey! Happy belated birthday!

    I have never read an OT-based fantasy -- how interesting! I didn't finish many books in November, though I feel like I read a lot. >.<

    But WELL DONE WITH TPK!!! And your poem! For the first time in forever, there'll be magic, there'll be light! For the first time in forEVer, I'll be daancing through the niiight!-- Wait, what? But yes, TPK! You will be pleased to hear I am on ch19 of TPQ ;)

    You will also be pleased to hear your "cameo" character is becoming less and less cameo in LesMisBook. I had a lovely time in a cafe today making a start in my plotting notebook (which has squared paper, which I just love so much). After writing LESMISBOOK at the top of the first page, sitting and thinking for a while, and then underlining it, and thinking, "wow, I'm making progress", I did actually unblock and fill four pages. Including notes about Tracey! She is Scottish (I can't help it! The book is set in England currently ... though I am considering potentially moving it north?? It is a real conundrum. But we need at least one Glaswegian in there, and at the moment that's Tracey). Her best friend, in honour of my dream, is called Jess ;) She (Tracey, not Jess) does officially fancy Ibrahim and I hope to get them together. She is a Christian. She is a peacemaker. The other thing I discovered today is that Verity Locke is having problems of her own -- her best friend, Zenaye, has started going out with a guy called Chris and is ignoring Verity more and more. So Tracey is looking out for both Nina and Verity in their best friend troubles. I'm pretty sure at one point the three of them have a chat and when Tracey leaves ((probs to go talk to Ibrahim ;) ;) )), V and N look at each other like, "HOW is she SO NICE????" And maybe it is the first time they have ever agreed on anything.

    Soz, that was quite a lot of unlooked for information from me.

    You're welcome??

    Anyway. I've not put the Christmas tunes on myself yet, but I am enjoying hearing them in shops! XD

    Happy Advent :*

    1. Hey, thank you! ^.^

      It was a fresh change, that's for sure. Heehee, feeling like you read a lot is a good thing (I think?), so even if you DIDN'T actually... at least you feel like you did? (I don't even make sense. >.>)

      "Don't know if I'm elated or gassy, but I'm somewhere in that zoooone--'cause for the first time in forever... I won't be alone!" LOL, thank you! You're a dear. Chapter 19, you say? Lots is happening around that portion of the story. I'm so excited!

      Okay, Em, I literally couldn't keep myself from grinning about the growing cameo appearance! THIS IS SO FUN, I LOVE IT, AHHH! Tracey is Scottish! And has a smidgen of me in her! And her friend is Jess and she fancies Ibrahim and is counseling her friends... <3 Love. It. (Really had to laugh at the "how is she so NICE?" bit. XDDD) Though the info may be unlooked for, I'm delighted you shared it.

      Thanks, and same to you! <3

  8. Happy birthday! And yay for writing goals! :D I believe you can do it! Can't wait to see you at Realm Makers! :D I'm planning on going!

    1. Aw, thanks for the encouragement and birthday greetings! :D I am bound and determined to make it to Realm Makers this summer. It would be AMAZING to meet you in person!!!

  9. It was a pretty good November. Lots of school, but productive school. I spent a few hours each week throughout the month rehearsing for two short plays that were performed the 6th of this month. The plays were for the Directing I class; I volunteered to act in the directors' final projects and ended up double-cast. That was quite fun. I just did a DISC test, and I got S/DC.

    1. Apparently SDC is known as an "Inquirer." I read a description for an "Inquirer," and much of it seemed correct. I think I'm pretty good at adapting to change, unlike the description.

    2. Glad you had a productive month! A directing class sounds fun--theater seems like such a neat art form.

      I like how comprehensive the DISC descriptions are. Mine was quite insightful, and it sounds like yours was too! :)