Time Flies!: December 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.

Did I ever tell you that Lilo And Stitch is my second-favorite animated Disney movie after The Lion King? ;)

Confession: “Lilo and Stitch” is my second-favorite animated Disney movie after “The Lion King.”

Yes, it’s me popping in! 😉 I’m on hiatus until Monday, January 4th, but I thought I’d still post a Time Flies to “officially” wrap up the month.

How have your winter holidays been so far? Do you have any plans for New Year’s Eve? I’ll most likely stay at home and call it an early night (I’ll explain why shortly). The last two months have been nutty on all fronts, so it’s been nice to breathe deeply and relax the past few days.

If you noticed things were slower here than usual this month – you’re correct. I scaled back on my blogging activities in December because of all the busyness, and also to get a head start on my January posts. So, you probably haven’t missed much if you’ve been away, but here’s your chance to catch up:

This Month’s Posts

Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns

Site Updates & News

No changes or additions were made to the site in December. However, stay tuned for some end-of-2015 posts in January, including my annual wrap-up article and two separate lists for my favorite reads of the year!

Also, there will be no 5 on the 5th post in January. The next one is scheduled for Friday, February 5th.

December’s Gems from the Blogosphere

Several readers commented on how much they liked this new section of Time Flies – so, it’s a keeper! Here are some fantastic articles I read at other websites during the past month. Most of them are geared toward writers, but there are a few surprises that everyone might like. 😉

  1. “5 Resources for Writing Male Voice” by Alyssa Hollingsworth (The Great Noveling Adventure)
  2. “7 Reasons Why Letting Go May Be the Best Decision You Will Ever Take” by Casey Imafidon (Archetypes)
  3. “Archetypes: Sage” (Alex Hurst)
  4. “Does Our Personality Affect Our Writing Process?” (Jami Gold)
  5. “Hey There, Your Perfectionism Is Showing” (Leanne Sowul / Words From The Sowul)
  6. “The Perfect Mindfulness Practice For Every Astrological Sign” (Mind Body Green)
  7. “Power Your Fiction: Using Weather To Create Mood, Not Clichés” by Angela Ackerman (Writers In The Storm)
  8. “The Redemptive Arc” by David Corbett (Writer Unboxed)
  9. “Should You Write to Trends?” by Brianna da Silva (Mariella Hunt / Life, Literature, & Coffee)
  10. “Swordplay for Fantasy Writers” by A. Howitt (Mythic Scribes)

Offline Happenings

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree... how lovely are your branches...

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree… how lovely are your branches…

Christmas was a little on the strange side weather-wise. It almost reached 70 degrees Fahrenheit last Thursday – unheard of in Massachusetts for this time of year! So, no white Christmas this year, but it was lovely nonetheless. I baked desserts both days (cream cheese brownies for Christmas Eve dinner, M&M cookie bars for Christmas Day afternoon).  I also hosted a holiday party for my friends at my place a few weeks ago. Nothing huge, but it was a lot of fun. Good food (in our case: pizza, salad, chips with salsa, cheese and crackers, desserts, and hot mulled cider) and even better company is what the holidays are meant to be about.

As for presents I received? A couple books, clothes, gift cards – and a new camera!! It’s a purple Nikon Coolpix L840 Digital Camera, with 16 megapixels and 38x optical zoom. I’ve already tried it out a couple times (none of the photos are shown here, though), and I’m already very happy with it. (In other words, no zooming or focusing issues like the old camera was having!)

Now that Christmas is over, the next big thing is… my parent’s move. 😮 I mentioned it last month, and now it’s happening next weekend. (Hence no New Year’s Eve plans, and why I’ll still be on hiatus through January 4th.) I’ve been helping out when I can, bringing empty boxes from work, “inheriting” board games and a portable fire escape ladder (you never know when it might come in handy!), and packing when I’m visiting. I’ll be there during the move as well. But it still boggles my mind that this weekend will be the last time I’ll set foot in the house where I spent my teenage and college years. I’m going to miss it.

No wonder I was exhausted for most of December, though. All the normal Christmas preparations, plus archery lessons, and my parents’ move on top of all that… But I was able to carve out time for myself so I could relax and rejuvenate as best as I could. And work on Draft #2 of The Keeper’s Curse, of course. When I last worked on it, I was on Page 279 of 393 (71% of the way through). I’m trying to NOT be too excited about those numbers – but I can’t help it! 😀  If things continue at the current rate, I might finish Draft #2 by the end of March.

Oh, and I saw this movie with my brother on his birthday.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was. So. MUCH. FUN!!! A nonstop ride of nostalgia, laughs, and heart-pounding thrills. I actually found myself gripping the arms of the theater chair at certain points! The plot isn’t perfect, IMO, but the new characters are refreshing and engaging. I especially liked Rey for her gutsiness and mechanic skills, and Finn for his sympathetic backstory. That’s all I’ll say for now, in case some of you haven’t seen the film yet. But personally, “The Force Awakens” is a very close second behind “The Martian” for the title of Sara’s Favorite Movie of 2015.

Song of the Month: “Run” by Eklipse

At first I was thinking I’d share something holiday-ish… And then I listened to “Run” on repeat while revising a particular scene in TKC. It’s still one of my favorite songs by Eklipse (in fact, I wrote about it here); and for some reason, it reminds me of my protagonist Eva and her (eventual) love interest Aurek. The weird thing is, I’ve checked the lyrics for “Run” (it was originally performed by the British rock band Snow Patrol), and I don’t see how they connect with my story…. But string arrangements are open to interpretation, right?

Btw, Eklipse is a string quartet from Germany that puts a gothic-atmospheric twist on pop classics, indie rock and metal tunes, and film score themes. If you like classical crossover music, definitely check out their albums A Night In Strings and Electric Air. I highly recommend them both!

How Quickly Does Time Fly?

The next Time Flies is scheduled to post on Sunday, January 31st. Until then, have a fun and safe end to your 2015! 🙂

44 thoughts on “Time Flies!: December 2015

  1. Nice to see you pop in, Sara! I hope your parents’ move is going ok, and I hope it’s not too stressful. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your favorites of the year next month. Have a relaxing New Year’s, I’ll be home this year too, which is where I want to be (not big on parties;-)).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tammy! The bulk of the move begins this weekend, so we’ll see how it goes. They keep running out of boxes to put their things in! :S

      I’m not huge on NYE parties, either. Last year I went to the movies and out to dinner with a friend, and that was perfectly fine – and a lot of fun.


  2. We had a really warm Christmas in Virginia, too!! I think it did reach 70 degrees. We had windows open and the fan blowing.

    I’m honored to have my guest post make the list! ^_^ Looks like there are a bunch of great blog posts here I should check out, too.

    Ooh, and congrats on the camera! That’s awesome! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We loved Star Wars! I’m hoping to bring my daughter to see it in the new year, maybe during a quiet matinee when things slow down. It’ll be her first trip to the theater so it’ll be dicey, I’ll have to teach her movie etiquette and not to talk during the movie and only whisper if she has to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t imagine a warm Christmas, or one without snow. The idea is really strange to me 0_o Here it snowed all through Christmas Eve so it was totally white haha. I’m sure the first time I see a warm Christmas will make it a memorable one though!

    I got a couple of books as well, but I got to choose them and have them wrapped 😀 I’m finally gonna read The Red Queen! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Stopping by from Coach’s 6 word post 🙂
    We had a non-white Christmas too; most unheard of for Northern Canada. And then 2 days later, Old Man Winter dumped about 30 cm of snow on us in a day. I shoveled in the New Year. But we did also see Star Wars and I thought it was great. A bit repetitive with bringing in some past stuff, but unlike the other 3 movies we never talk about; I loved the new characters! I actually feel invested in them and can’t wait to see more. Also, more Luke please. Like lots more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally forgot I participated in 6 Words this month! :S It was a crazy December, and I’m just coming back from a holiday hiatus…

      So you had a quiet start to your winter in Canada, huh? (Before the snow came, of course.) How cold or snowy does it usually get in your neck of the woods?

      I noticed the repetition of past Star Wars elements, too. But that was forgivable compared to the Trilogy That Shall Not Be Named. As for Luke… something tells me he’ll play a much bigger role in Episode 8. 😉 Though I think he might spend a good deal of that movie continuing to suffer from his guilt over Kylo Ren.


  6. Well, since I normally spend New Year’s Eve either A. Being grouchy because someone dragged me to a party, or B. Sitting around in pajamas doing nothing and being perfectly content, your NYE sounds good to me!
    I hope you’ve recovered from all the busyness though, that isn’t really fun, even if you like the bustle.
    Oh, and Happy New Year! Get some good rest on your small hiatus, and congrats on the editing progress. Great post picks to share as always, and I look forward to seeing what you’ll post in the coming month 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • *lol* I’m not much of a NYE party person to begin with, so it wasn’t much different from the usual. 😉

      Thanks very much. I do feel rested, and more relaxed now that all the busyness has passed… and very much in denial about going back to reality tomorrow. 😦

      Happy New Year to you, too (again)! I look forward to seeing what you have in store this year, too. Especially your book! 🙂


  7. Looks like an awesome camera!! Have fun playing. 😀 And enjoy your hiatus. I know I’ve been enjoying mine. 😛 Why is there only one more week until work again? Noooooo…. Anywho, Happy New Year, Sara! Thank you for a wonderful 2015. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Alex! I’m very excited to start using the camera. 😀

      You’re lucky about one more week off from work. Today was back to reality for me…

      All the best for 2016 to you, too, Alex! 🙂 Are you still in Japan? Or have you moved to Canada?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry, I seem to have missed this comment! No, I am still in Japan until April (Noooooo)…. crazy busy with moving and trying to get some side money in the meantime.

        Have you used the camera yet? 😀 Are you enjoying it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • No worries. 😉 And yes, I used the camera this weekend to take photos a) of books for an upcoming blog post, and b) of a dollhouse I finally brought over from Mom and Dad’s house before they moved. My dad had built the dollhouse when I was 13 years old; and while I’m obviously too old to play with it now (*lol*), it’s too beautiful and still in good shape, so I’m going to display it at my place.

        No move until April? Was that the plan all along, or have things been delayed?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oooo, I love doll houses! I’m sure it will be lovely. 🙂

        Move is in April, looking to be the first week of April, actually. Not delayed… That’s when the school year ends over here. 🙂 my last day of work will be an Easter party.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Writing Links in the 3s and 5…1/6/16 | Traci Krites

  9. It sounds like you had a good Christmas. I’m glad. And the camera sounds very nice. Have fun with it. 🙂 2015 went so quickly, and 2016 isn’t slowing down either! That song is beautiful. I know the original by Snow Patrol, and really like it. The instrumental is good too. I might have to listen to more by that band. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Phoenix! I hope you enjoyed your holidays as well. 🙂

      Eklipse’s music is quite remarkable. I think you can find just about any of their songs on YouTube, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. That said, if you’re looking for recommendations, some of my favorites by them are “Wonderful Life,” “In The End,” “Cry Me a River,” and “Set Fire to the Rain.”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Still catching up with all of the post I’ve missed. XD I’m glad you’ve had a happy Christmas! Sweeeeeeet that you got a new camera! I know how it feels to step in a house you’ve been in for so long and it be the last time. Nostalgia blast. Star Wars was awesome! I agree with the plot issues but I still liked it. XD


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 21: Christmas-January Haul, Plus My Reading Plan for 2016 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  12. Hi Sara, 🙂 I hope you’re parents move went well?
    Congrats on getting so much editing done! Oh and Star Wars I can’t wait to see, once I get the chance soon!
    Again, I’m loving the blog posts list you shared. 🙂 Looks like it’s been a good year overall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it did! I’ll give a quick update in the next Time Flies… but basically the Cape house is theirs now, and they’re living in temporary housing while it’s being renovated.

      Thank you! I’m actually getting antsy now that I *think* I see the finish line. Or is 79% still a little far away to see it? Either way, I just want it to be done – but I have to be patient. 😉

      Have fun with Star Wars!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Time Flies!: January 2016 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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