Time Flies!: July 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.

Hello from Writer’s Digest Conference! Today is Day One of the event, and I’m beyond excited for everything. The individual sessions, meeting other writers (especially some of my DIY MFA colleagues), being in NYC for the first time in a while, LOTS of books… It’s hard to believe that this weekend I’ve been looking forward to since early March has finally arrived, but it’s here! I can’t wait to share more of my experience with you once I’m back at home. 😀

And what about the past month? It’s been an interesting one, that’s for sure! So, here’s your chance to catch up with the month’s blog postings and other things:

This Month’s Posts

Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns

Site Updates

No site updates this month. However, I’d like your opinion on something: Would it be helpful to have “button links” on the sidebar to some of the blog’s regular columns (Chronicling The Craft, 5 on the 5th, Beautiful People, etc.)? I already have links to them on the Features tab of the main menu, but I was wondering if sidebar buttons might help with visibility.

Offline Happenings

How would I describe July? Well, it was a quiet, productive month. And then my air conditioner died. (*headdesk*) That made for a tough week, especially since it happened at the start of a heat wave. But I slept at my parents’ house nearby until a new AC unit was installed by the end of the week, so I count myself lucky for having a cool place to stay and getting things resolved so quickly. I also spent a good amount of time preparing for WDC, practicing my pitch and planning my coverage of the event for DIY MFA.

July was also a month of extremes with The Keeper’s Curse. I struggled with “writer’s doubt” for a couple weeks because of logistical errors that were brought to my attention. While those issues have now been remedied (I hope), they happened so close together that I started questioning everything about the story. That’s never an encouraging place. But I kept pushing forward, and thanks to some feedback from a fellow writer and a much-needed Reiki session, I feel much better now!

In term of progress, Draft #2 of TKC has been plodding along because of significant rewrites and revisions for a few chapters. I expected that, though, and the story continues to feel more “on track” as a result of those changes. I started Chapter 12 (about 28% through Draft #2) on Wednesday, and the world count is around 127K.

Fancy That logo

A friend and I also treated ourselves to an afternoon tea recently! We went to Fancy That in Walpole, Massachusetts and enjoyed it immensely. The food was delicious, and ranged from typical afternoon tea fare (cucumber sandwiches, scones, lemon tea bread) to original recipes (mini chicken salad and ham / cheese sandwiches, blue velvet cupcakes, strawberry shortcake mini trifles). And with over 40 teas to choose from, you really couldn’t go wrong. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to share (my phone takes terrible pictures), but you can check out Fancy That’s Facebook page to see some of their food offerings and the store’s adorable vintage interior.

Song of the Month: “A Prophecy of Worlds to Fall” by Xandria

I have a habit of revising CDs I loved from years past. This month’s choice was Neverworld’s End by German symphonic metallers Xandria. Three songs in particular ended up on repeat, and “A Prophecy of Worlds to Fall” was one of them. This particular track has a foreboding, apocalyptic feel to it, as well as fantastic string and choir arrangements and a super-catchy chorus. Methinks this would make a great theme song to a dark epic fantasy story. 🙂 If you like what you hear below, I’d also recommend “Soulcrusher” and “The Nomad’s Crown” from the same album.

How Quickly Does Time Fly?

The next Time Flies will post on Monday, August 31st. Until then, be safe, keep cool, and have a great month!

23 thoughts on “Time Flies!: July 2015

  1. That tea place sounds awesome! Have fun at the WD conference. I kept getting the emails and wishing I had time to spare for it (but I went to BEA, so I can’t really complain!). I am sure it will be fabulous and inspiring.
    And I love Xandria, by the way 😉 I like how symphonic metal makes you feel so epic every time you listen to it. Inner voice while listening: “I am an elvish warrior,” looks in mirror, “I look like a hobbit.” looks away from mirror, “I AM REALLY COOL.”
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! The conference has been AMAZING so far. 😀 And am I allowed to say that I’m jealous that you got to attend BEA??

      You listen to Xandria, too?! 😀 I always get a teeny bit excited when I find other people who enjoy the same music I listen to. Do you listen to other similar bands?

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      • Usually it is me being jealous of all the things, so sure 🙂

        Within Temptation is one of my all time favorite bands, which is how I discovered Xandria. I also love Epica, Apocalyptica, some Kamelot, Delain, and songs/albums here and there from other symphonic metal bands (Nemesea, Sirenia, After Forever, Leave’s Eyes, etc, etc). But I’m not the biggest fan of beast vocals, I admit. They have to be just right for the song.
        What I listen to has a lot to do with my mood/what I’m writing. One day we’re Bastille and Within Temptation, the next we’re Foreigner and AC/DC, and then we’re Red and Panic! At the Disco, and then The Civil Wars and Neon Trees. And my latest favorite thing is Fitz and the Tantrums. I love them to pieces!

        Liked by 1 person

      • 😀 I listen to most of those bands, too!! Actually I did an “Ode to Within Temptation” back in June. Not sure if you saw that…?

        I’m also a fan of Epica and Kamelot, as well as some of the lesser known bands in the genre. I don’t listen to metal as much as I used to, but it still takes up the most space on my iPod. It’s great to be able to go back and revisit those albums. 🙂

        Have you also heard of Nightwish and Lacuna Coil?

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    • “I am an elvish warrior,” looks in mirror, “I look like a hobbit.” That’s exactly how it is for me too, lol. I think I’m all epic and great and capable of all sorts of awesome things, have pointed ears, and then I look in the mirror… Fall back down into sad reality. But then I remember, it was the Hobbits who saved Middle Earth! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sara, yes, I like some Nightwish (sometimes they get a little too silly for me though), and I have the reverse problem with Lacuna Coil. (Though I like a lot of their songs). I just discovered the band Amaranthe today, so this drifted back into my mind. (https://play.spotify.com/artist/2KaW48xlLnXC2v8tvyhWsa)
        No, I’ll have to go check out that ode to WT . . . I would say the same about the symphonic metal. It takes up a lot of my ipod, but I’m far more widespread in my listening habits than I used to be.

        E. Rawls – I know, there are so many things that remind me I’m not an elf! And yes, the Baggins console me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I go back and forth when it comes to Nightwish, too. I like a couple of their albums, and I LOVE their song “Nemo,” but I wouldn’t call myself an avid fan. As for LC, I loved their earlier albums up through Karmacode. Anything after that hasn’t appealed to me much. I was curious of what you though of either band, though, since they’re considered the most popular “femme metal” bands here in the US after Evanescence and WT.

        Yes, I’ve heard of Amaranthe. Their music is very catchy, but has more grunting / screaming than I care for…

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    • You’re welcome, Anya! And no worries about not visiting. I know you’ve been super busy. 😉

      Yeah, it was a tough week without the AC. But I took it in stride, and it felt soooooo nice to have a cool condo again once the new unit was installed.

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  2. Sara, it’s been forever since I visited! I really like your new blog layout and header 🙂 Hope you have a great time at the Writer’s Digest Conference, I’ve never been to NYC but I hear it’s definitely somewhere you should visit at least once. And don’t get down on The Keeper’s Curse, I’m sure it’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Alise! No worries, hun. I know you’ve been busy with school. 😉

      Thanks for your comments on the redesign! I’m really happy with it. WDC was AMAZING (today was the third and final day), and NYC is CRAZY but also amazing. 🙂

      Thanks for your encouragement about the story, too. I feel more confident about it now than I did a few weeks ago. The key is finding solutions and then moving on so you don’t let the fear and doubts drag you down. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no! No A/C! That would be horrible! It’s been so hot this year! Fortunately you had somewhere to stay while it was getting fixed. And I’ve so been there with writer’s doubt. I don’t get writers block very much anymore, but it’s hard to shake that writer’s doubt. I hope you’re doing better and your book is doing well! Keep on keeping on!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tori! 🙂

      Yeah, pushing through writer’s doubt is really the best way to get through it. There are other remedies, too, but the fear always passes eventually.

      It hasn’t been too, too bad heat-wise this summer in MA. About average, with no abnormally hot days (above 90). But that AC-less week just so happened to be our hottest week so far this summer. *shrugs* Thank goodness for the new unit!

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  4. I’m sorry you had a Writer’s Doubt moment – it’s one of the grottier by-products of being a very thorough editor, I believe… But I’m glad you pushed through it and came out the other side. Other than that, it sounds like you have had a very successful July:). Typical that your aircon broke down just when the weather got REALLY hot. As for us – it’s been a disappointing summer other than a couple of lovely weeks at the start of July. The weather is windy, often cloudy and with a constantly northerly/easterly blowing which makes it too cold to sit out very long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah. 🙂

      Yes, I bet some of the doubt comes from being a painstaking editor. That’s one thing that Eva and I have in common: We are our own worst enemies. Although that probably goes for most everyone…

      So you’ve had a cooler summer than usual, from the sounds of it? What are your summers usually like?

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  5. How did your pitch at WDC go? Am eager to hear all about your experience there!
    I love that vintage interior of Fancy That on their FB page! I would love to recreate a room like that. 🙂
    I’m liking the Neverworld’s End song here. It does remind me of an epic dark fantasy! I can picture my characters battling as this plays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually didn’t pitch at WDC. I could have if I really wanted to, but I think the “rule of thumb” is that you send the manuscript to interested agents within 1 year of pitching it to them. I can’t guarantee that right now. Maybe next year, though. 😉

      I adore Fancy That’s interior, too! It’s so cute and feminine and cozy. And if you like that song from Xandria, definitely check out a few others. I think I included links to Soulcrusher and The Nomad’s Crown in that paragraph… But also check out Valentine, Call of the Wind, Cursed, and Euphoria.

      GAH! You know you love an album when you recommend practically every song from it. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Time Flies!: September 2015 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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