Time Flies!: April 2015

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Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies! It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share news and random things from my offline life, and hint at what may be coming in the month ahead.

This month has soared by, which makes this series’ title all the more appropriate. April 2015 was a good month, though, and May already has a shot at surpassing it. Tomorrow I’m attending Muse and the Marketplace for the first time, and I can’t WAIT! I’ve sort of “disappeared” from my online haunts this week to prepare for the event (researching presenters, drafting a practice pitch for The Keeper’s Curse, double-checking train and event schedules, etc.). If I haven’t returned comments or emails recently, that’s one of the reasons why. I hope you understand, and I’m aiming to catch up on things next week.

OK. Recap time!

This Month’s Posts

Guest Blogs and Columns

Site Updates

Offline Happenings

Holy rabbits, April was busy. Easter meant a chaotic first few days of the month, with relatives visiting and a mini-buffet to pick from for dinner one night and breakfast the next morning. My parents usually host holiday dinners, since my kitchen is too small to handle big events. But I always volunteer to make something, and thank goodness my dessert contribution this year (Easter M&M cookie bars) came out ten times better than last year’s did. (I didn’t cook last year’s long enough… *oops*)

Also, the new seasons of Game Of Thrones and Orphan Black have begun. Yay! 😀 Anyone else a fan of these crazy shows?

On the novel front. revisions for The Keeper’s Curse are coming along. I’m halfway through Chapter 3, and have cut more than 1300 words so far. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news? I’ve already had to re-evaluate my timeline for finishing the second draft. For some reason, I thought the revision process would go more quickly than the drafting process would. Not the case. Some parts of the novel need to be completely rewritten for clarity, proper direction, concision, etc. That all takes time, and when your novel-writing time is limited to weekends… Yeah. So, no deadline until I’m closer to the end, and now I feel less stressed and more able to enjoy revising, just as I had with writing the first draft.

Unfortunately, my Tea Test Kitchen (a.k.a. my project to create a custom tea line inspired by TKC) stalled again. The flavor combinations using the new batch of samples I bought in March didn’t work out as well as the first batch had. It’s mostly my fault; I didn’t think over my sample choices as carefully as I had before. But through trial and error, I managed to come up with a tea to represent Eva’s love interest, Aurek Svestaren; and I have a good idea of which samples I should try next month.

Outside of the writing realm, I visited Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed at Boston’s Museum of Science last weekend. Wow! The architecture, the writing and numeric glyphs, the craftsmanship, layers upon layers of history… It was nothing short of fascinating. I came away with a much deeper appreciation for the Mayan’s resourcefulness, spirituality, and intelligence. And as I walked through each section of the exhibit, the world-building gears were turning like crazy in my head. There’s no better feeling than being inspired by other cultures – either current or ancient – for future stories.

I took some photos of the exhibit (without using my flash, per museum rules), and they came out better than I’d expected. Here are some of my favorites. If you enjoy archaeology, history, and cultural anthropology, make sure you visit Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed if it stops at a museum near you!

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A stela carved from stone, commemorating one of the Mayan kings

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A stone altar depicting the 16 kings of the Mayan city of Copan along its sides

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Beans and other counting devices

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Artifacts including pottery, turquoise and gold earrings, and a three-piece serpent mask made from gold

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Murals depicting a Mayan royal procession

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An 8-lb rubber ball used for the Mayan’s version of soccer, bounced off your hips instead of kicked at your feet. Ouch!

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Gifts that the Mayans offered to their gods, including incense burners, figurines, obsidian blades, and bowls of food

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Mayan jewelry made from shell, clay, and mother of pearl

What’s Coming in May

Curious about what will post next month? Here’s what’s planned so far, besides the usual book reviews and other updates:

  • A report on Muse And The Marketplace
  • A new An Ode To…, featuring another of my all-time favorite bands (Anyone familiar with Dutch symphonic metal? *wink*)
  • More tea reviews at A Bibliophile’s Reverie
  • A new DIY MFA article on premise themes

Outside of the blog, my first vacation of the year is in 2 weeks! I’ve planned day trips to Cape Cod and downtown Plymouth, but most importantly I’ll have more time for revising TKC. 😉

Song of the Month: “The Storm” by The Gentle Storm

I’m a HUGE fan of Dutch progressive metal guitarist / songwriter Arjen Lucassen. So when I heard he was teaming up with former Gathering frontwoman Anneke van Giersbergen for a new musical project, I knew the result would be AMAZING. And it is! The Gentle Storm’s The Diary chronicles a love story set in 17th century Netherlands and India, and consists of two CDs featuring different versions of the same songs: one CD of symphonic metal, and another CD of acoustic arrangements featuring exotic instruments such as the tabla, sitar, and Irish bouzouki. Here’s a taste of The Gentle Storm’s metal side with “The Storm.”

How Quickly Does Time Fly?

The next Time Flies is scheduled for Sunday, May 31st. Until then, I hope you’re doing well and enjoying spring (or autumn, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere). 🙂

13 thoughts on “Time Flies!: April 2015

  1. It certainly has been a busy productive time, Sara. Have a great time at the Muse and the Marketplace – I look forward to hearing all about it in due course. The Mayan exhibition looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Mayan exhibit looks amazing! I would love to see that. Oh yes, the editing process is taking a long time for me too. Like you said, it’s best to take your time with it and do it right; don’t worry about setting a due date yet. Can’t wait to hear all about your experience at the Muse and the Marketplace! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. 🙂 I feel much better about the revising process now that I’ve accepted my pace. Plus, I’m watching the word and page counts decrease with each session, and they make me want to have a party. 😀

      Muse was fantastic! I wished I was able to attend all three days, not just Friday. Something to consider for 2016. 😉 Full-length report coming soon. (Although I have to start writing it first…)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Super productive month! How fun! 🙂 You’ve reminded me that I haven’t sent out a newsletter in three months though, haha. I better get on that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Real Neat Blog Award | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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