Time Flies!: February 2016

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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.

Happy Leap Day, everyone!


So, February 2016. Wow. Not only did it soar by, but was it ever busy at the blog! For some reason, I don’t typically notice how much gets accomplished each month, but I felt it this time around. Maybe it’s because I was working on a few lengthy posts at the same time, but all the effort was worth it. So, I gave myself a short break last week, which gave me time to catch up on other things.

March already looks like it’ll be a ton of fun, btw. A new character interview is posting tomorrow, and I’m stopping by Pages Unbound in a few weeks for a fun interview about my love for J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. 🙂 For now, let’s recap the past month.

This Month’s Posts

Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns

Site Updates & News

Not exactly “new” news, but I’m on Pinterest! I’ve been on there for a while, getting used to how it works and such. If you check out my profile, you’ll find a “muse board” for my WIP, as well as boards featuring writing tips, recommended books, tea findings, and my ever-growing animated GIF collection, among other things.

Click here to visit and/or follow me on Pinterest. You can also click on the Pinterest logo in the sidebar (under the Goodreads widget) to go to my profile.

February’s Gems from the Blogosphere

  1. “Everyday Expressions of Emotion & Other Wearisome, Well-Worn Words” by Bonnie Waltch (Dead Darlings)
  2. “I Am What I Choose To Become” by Maria Shriver
  3. “Land Travel Before Engines” by Chris Winkle (Mythcreants)
  4. “Let’s Address a Common Misunderstanding About Author Websites” by Jane Friedman (Writer Unboxed)
  5. “Nourishing Our Creativity to Help Our Writing” by Jami Gold
  6. “On Writing Realistic Dialogue” by Ava Jae (Writability)
  7. “What Does Your Choice of Tea Reveal?” by Pip Stoneham (Teabox)
  8. “When the News and Novels Collide: A YA Novelist Grapples with Publication Amid Tragedy” by Diana Renn (Publishers Weekly)
  9. “Why Being a Debut Author Isn’t Exactly a Dream Come True” by Courtney Maum (BuzzFeed)
  10. “Worldbuilding Underground” by J. Katherine Cheney (SF Signal)

Offline Happenings

Choc Cookies on Rack_1

Chocolate cookies I made for a get-together. Yummmmmmmmmm. 🙂

February may have been busy blogging-wise, but offline it was relatively quiet. I’ve kept up my yoga habit, had a couple get-togethers with friends, and diligently continued revising my WIP The Keeper’s Curse. (More on that shortly.) Otherwise, nothing really exciting happened.

If I wanted to, I guess I could count getting the interior handle of my car’s driver-side front door replaced. But that wasn’t really fun… especially since until it was fixed, the only way I could get out of the car was by climbing over to the passenger side (and bruised my knees as a result!). I also lost electricity for 18+ hours during a snowstorm… but that also wasn’t fun. (I had a warm place to sleep thanks to family, though, so I was grateful for that.)

White Walkers Winter Is Here

Need I say more?

In truth, winter tends to be my least busy time of year once Christmas is over. I don’t like the cold, snow, ice, etc., so I don’t make a lot of plans or spend much time outside. In other words, I “hibernate.” So, if you’re wondering – no, I’m not a fan of skiing, snowboarding, or winter sports in general. And I live in New England. Go figure. (*lol*)

All that said, there’s one positive about today being February 29th: The first day of spring is less than 3 weeks away! 🙂

Because of “hibernation,” I tend to get a lot of writing done during the winter. So, as I hinted earlier, I’ve been hard at work revising TKC. My goal has been to finish this second draft by Easter / end of March… But, OMG you guys, I’m on the second-to-last chapter!! I might beat my deadline!!

On the movie front, I *finally* watched James Cameron’s Avatar this past weekend. Holy… goodness. I expected the gorgeous visual, but was stunned by everything else. The world-building, from the Na’vi’s culture to the flora and fauna; the film score (seriously, I need to buy it); the lead character’s moving arc (and you know I LOVE a good character arc) – yes, this movie is a spectacle, but it’s also thought-provoking and endearing. If you haven’t seen Avatar yet, I implore that you do. 🙂

Song of the Month: “Wings of Fantasy” by Marcus Paul Jocis

A friend had given me Marcus Paul Jocis’ A Minstrel in Malachite as a Christmas gift. I don’t usually listen to acoustic music; it’s one of those genres where you have to be in the right mood for it. But I’ve been listening to Minstrel in the car lately, and it’s really interesting. Mark has an intricate, layered style of guitar-playing that uses “tapping,” or quick plucking that gives the music a distinct rhythm. In fact, sometimes it sounds like Mark is dueling with himself. That’s how complex his arrangements are! The booklet also includes an original fantasy short story that inspired the music. So, today I thought I’d share the album’s opening track, “Wings of Fantasy.”

How Quickly Does Time Fly?

The next Time Flies is scheduled for Thursday, March 31st. Until then, have a lovely month!

20 thoughts on “Time Flies!: February 2016

  1. Well, I know you say that winter is a slow time for you – but you certainly got a lot of blogging done! And congratulations on staying ahead of your editing schedule. It is a long haul, I know – but so worth it when you are working to produce a thoroughly professional product. You may not enjoy the weather all that much – I certainly concur although I’m aware we are dealing with entirely different scales of coldness – but it doesn’t appear to have dented your productivity. Go you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • *lol* Yeah. It was slow in every aspect of my life except for writing and blogging. I can’t seem to stop at the moment… which isn’t a bad thing, I guess?

      Thank you! I truly, honestly can’t wait until I reach the end – because that part is always so exciting. 😀 My thinking now is that I’ll finish it in two more weekends. We’ll see!

      I think the only time that weather or the seasons hampers my productivity is when I actually want to be outside, like in the spring or summer. So it’s a good thing I’m finishing Draft #2 right now – otherwise, it may have drawn out a little longer. *lol*

      How about you, Sarah? Do you find that certain seasons or types of weather take a bite out of your writing productivity?


  2. I’m all for hibernating too, so I know what you mean. I can’t wait for spring, though luckily we haven’t lost power yet this winter (*knock on wood*) but we’ve been there before and it’s just awesome isn’t it, ha. And Avatar is a great movie, I know a lot of people rag on it for being Pocahontas in space, but it’s actually very entertaining and like you said, gorgeous visuals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lucky you. ;P On a more serious note, though, it’s hard to not have electricity during the winter. I hope you don’t have to go through it for the rest of the season, either.

      “Pocahontas in space”? Hmmmm. I guess I can see why, but we both agree there’s a lot more to Avatar than that.


  3. I adore Avatar! Definitely one of my favorite movies:-) And I’m originally from the desert, so I HATE the cold. Although I do dream of snow now and then;-) I hope your part of the country sees Spring very soon:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay for Avatar! 🙂 I definitely want to see it again.

      I hope so, too. I’m actually going to put out my spring and Easter decorations tomorrow, just because I’m in that “state of mind” already. 😀


  4. I’m glad you loved Avatar! It’s one of those movies that really set the standard for sci-fi. And even though the story might be a bit cliche, at least it has a story (and there’s some logic in there too!), instead of just trying to awe us with special effects (it still does, but they serve the story).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, yes, and yes to all of your points about Avatar. 😀 Even though special effects can be mind-bogglingly good, they can’t overcompensate for a weak or non-existent storyline. Otherwise, there’s no purpose to the movie. So it’s great to see a film that balances both aspects very well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this blog series, Sara. It’s so important to celebrate your accomplishments. Too often I push forward and forget to honor what I’ve already done. It must feel really good to look back on these posts month after month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I’ve never really thought about the Time Flies series that way, Leanne. My goal with it was to recap what happened in the past month (and give readers a chance to catch up on anything they missed) and to share what I’ve been up to offline. But it also does what you pointed out – it takes time to celebrates accomplishments. So… yeah, it does feel good to look back on things in that way. 🙂


  6. Fun stuff be happening! I love Avatar. It’s such a cool building. The worldbuilding is so awesome. Ick for stuck car door. No fun. I’m glad you got it fixed though. Chocolate cookies yum! And I gave you a follow on Pinterest. ^ ^


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it was! I’m really glad I finally gave Avatar a chance. 🙂

      Yeah. Well… When things start breaking on your car, it’s best to get them taken care of. *shrugs*

      Mmmmmmmmmm, yesssssss, the goodness of chocolate cookies. And they’re. So. ADDICTING. But they also freeze well, so you don’t have to feel obligated to eat them all at once.

      I noticed! Thanks for following. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That gif made me snort on my coffee – we had the same sort of random snow burial a few times here (it’s clear now, but I’ve seen -20 degrees and sheet ice in March before, so, not getting my hopes up yet). I have been without heat/power in the winter, and it’s no joke. It always makes me appreciate warmth, family, and the ability to have power/pay a heating bill. Cooking potatoes in a fireplace is only fun the first two times, lol.
    Those cookies look amazing. Now I want cookies. (Actually, I normally want cookies).
    You already know I’m a huge fan (junkie) of Pinterest, so instant-follower 🙂 I’m excited to check out your boards! Anyhow, looks like you had a great month, and I look forward to seeing what March has for us all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re not out of the woods winter-wise for a while, either. We’ve had snow as late as April Fools Day in MA. But we’re supposed to have an unseasonably warm week here – 50s every day, with mid to upper 60s on Wednesday. 😮 I don’t want to start celebrating too soon, though!

      I think I remember my parents cooking potatoes by the fire once… Though it wasn’t at the fireplace, but by a small bonfire in the backyard. They let the potatoes cook too long, though. When they opened the foil, they had burned into ash. XD

      Ohhhhhhh yes those chocolate cookies are HEAVEN. They’re a little involved to make, but they’re so worth it. 😉

      Yeah, my Pinterest boards are a little… disorganized? Haphazard? I’m not sure what the right word would be to describe them. I don’t go on there every day or spend a ton of time when I do, and I think it shows. *lol* *blushes* But it’s a neat site.


      • Actually, I think I just have a Pinterest problem. I’m not even sure WHY I like it so much? (Maybe because I have no time to scrapbook, and I like staring at pictures??) But I love looking at a board and getting a visual of an idea – it’s so cool (My current WIP board is like that)- and it always makes me want to write whatever story I had in mind. And it’s not that I spend a bunch of time on their anyhow, I just pin about 100 pins at a time, and sometimes sit back and survey my boards for writing inspiration. And I try a lot of the recipes I pin – that’s where I save all the internet recipes I’ve tried/plan on trying.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You finally saw Avatar! I’m so glad. It’s been among my favorite movies ever since it hit theaters. The world-building is beautiful.
    I’m right there with you on winter–ugh. Snow, snow, go away, don’t come back another day~
    And yeah, losing power in winter is the worst, and it seems to happen a lot around here. Maybe it’s a New England thing? (2 weeks during that huge ice storm years ago, dead of winter without power, that was torture *brrr*).
    Cookies sound so warm and comforting right now. They taste their best during the chilly season for that reason. 🙂
    Loving your Pinterest boards! I’m still working on mine, it soaks up so much time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny, I’ve been thinking about Avatar from time to time since watching it. I’d love to see it again already. 🙂

      Eeeeeeek. That might have been the same ice storm that took out my Maine relatives’ electricity for a couple weeks. It didn’t really affect us down here. The worst “wintertime” power outage I remember is the April Fools Day snowstorm back in…. 1997? It knocked our power out for a full day, so Dad put all our refrigerated food in the snow to keep it cold. And we all huddled by the fireplace in the family room to stay warm. I think our power came back on after 8pm… I only remember that because we had all put on layers, brought down sleeping bags, and were preparing to play Monopoly by candlelight before going to bed. :S

      I’m kind of a sporadic Pinterest user, to be honest. I’ll add stuff for a day or two, then not be on there for a week. XD But feel free to poke around at your leisure!

      Mmmmmmm… chocolate cooooookiiiiiiiiesssssssss…. *smacks her lips*

      Liked by 1 person

      • I must’ve watched Avatar 10 times by now, lol, which is rare for me to watch a movie that much. 😀 I even got the Collector’s Edition dvd set!
        Of all the places my family has moved to, the most power outages we’ve ever had was when we moved here. *sigh* You have an apartment, right? Where do you go when the apartment loses power, and it’s night and to risky to drive?
        Sporadic Pinterest is my style too. 😉 I get those bursts of inspiration, you know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t watch a lot of movies over and over again, either. The only exceptions are all three LOTR films and the Harry Potter series, especially Deathly Hallows Part 2. 😉 I imagine LOTR would be on your list, too?

        I actually haven’t lost my electricity that often at the condo. The couple times I can remember are the ones that were out for long spans of time, like Hurricane Irene (4 days), the freak pre-Halloween snowstorm 2 months later (2+ days), and the 18-hour one in February. So I can’t say I’ve run into the specific scenario you asked about (not yet, anyways…), but I’ve never had a problem finding a place to stay if the power goes out on a cold night.

        I’ll still have relatives in the area once Mom and Dad move to the Cape. In fact, I have an aunt and uncle in a neighboring town who have told me to contact them if my power ever goes out, if there’s an emergency, etc. 😉

        Yeah… my thing with Pinterest is time – and remembering. Yes. It’s more or less remembering to go on there and pin stuff than anything else. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, in fact both the movie series you mentioned are! 😀
        Oh that’s good. It’s nice when you have relatives nearby that can help you out.
        Remembering Pinterest, that’s a good point too! I need it to be a weekly habit, then I’ll remember. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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