Time Flies!: March 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.

Can we first take a moment to celebrate the fact that it’s SPRING?! 😀

Spring_Bambi2

Aren’t they so cute? 🙂

Apart from my favorite season arriving, March was an awesome month. Many of you already know the biggest news on the writing front: I finished the second draft of my YA fantasy WIP, The Keeper’s Curse! Now, let me share some of the other “behind-the-scenes” happenings since last month’s round-up.

This Month’s Posts

Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns

Site Updates & News

As of today, I’m no longer participating in Stacking The Shelves. It’s fun to share new additions to my bookshelves, but doing so here isn’t putting my blogging time to the best use. I’ll continue sharing that enthusiasm on Twitter, though, so feel free to join my #Bookmail geek-outs there. 😉

March’s Gems from the Blogosphere

  1. “3 More Things Fantasy Can’t Get Right with Combat” by Trent Cannon (Fantasy Faction)
  2. “10 Great Words about Words” (Interesting Literature)
  3. “A Former Book Publicist’s Advice to Traditionally Published Authors” by Andrea Dunlop (Jane Friedman’s Official Website & Blog)
  4. “How and When to Catch the Elusive Publicity Department – Part 1” by Stacey Lee and Lizzy Mason (Pub(lishing) Crawl)
  5. “How Your Character’s Failures Can Map a Route to Self-Growth” by Angela Ackerman (Writers Helping Writers)
  6. “On Writing: Staying True to You” by Rae Oestreich (The Wallflower)
  7. “The Only Tool You REALLY Need to Be Productive” by Leanne Sowul (Words for the Sowul)
  8. “Publishing Lessons: We Cannot Do It All” by Jami Gold
  9. “What NOT to Do When Writing YA Books (Advice from a Teen Writer)” by Jamie S. Margolin (Writer’s Digest)
  10. “Writing Advice from Laini Taylor” by Laini Taylor (BookLife)

Offline Happenings

You know how you get used to doing something for so long, and then when you take a short break from it, it feels weird? That’s how I’ve felt since finishing Draft #2 of TKC. Of course, reaching The End again was thrilling and rewarding… but even though I had no trouble keeping myself busy, I kept thinking, “Shouldn’t I be working on my book?!” (*lol*) If you’re also a writer, has this happened to you when you take time off between drafts?

In case you’re wondering, I’m planning to start Draft #3 in the next week or so. I’ll post a new Chronicling The Craft when the time comes!

So, I’ve kept myself busy since finishing Draft #2. I caught up on housecleaning and started a couple organization projects at home. I revisited and updated some of my TKC character profiles (since my brain refuses to leave that story world for long *winks*). I’ve also continued my weekly yoga practice and attended a 2-hour “Soul Sketch Yoga” workshop, which combines yoga with charcoal-drawing on a 6 x 6 ft canvas. The above YouTube clip featuring performance artist Hannah Hansen gives you an idea of what students do during this workshop. And below, you’ll see my (*ahem*) rather messy result.

My parents are still renovating their new house on Cape Cod. I drove down there twice in March to see how it’s coming along. (The second trip was over Easter weekend, and our family went out to dinner to celebrate the holiday.) Some rooms don’t need much work; only a fresh coat of paint and refinished wood floors. Others had to be stripped down to wallboarding and insulation, or were gutted completely. Things are finally being installed, though, so it’s great to see everything coming together. Here’s hoping it’ll all be done by the time they move at the end of April! (*crosses her fingers*)

Finally, remember when I said back in January that I’d been asked to be a bridesmaid in Doctor Friend’s wedding? The date has been set – for this September. 😮  So, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind, from picking out the bridesmaid dress to helping the bride decide on flowers, decorations, and so forth. But somehow she’s stayed on top of everything, and all of the vendors have now been booked. My bridesmaid dress is on its way, too, and it’s so, SO pretty. I can’t wait to try it on!

Song of the Month: “When We Were Young” by Adele

I *finally* got a copy of Adele’s new album 25 recently. (Am I one of the last people on Earth to do so? *lol*) So far, I really like it, probably just as much as I like 21. It retains some of the simplistic, vintage feel of her older work, but it also sounds more modern. I wish I could find a better way of explaining it… other than you’d have to listen to the album for yourself. 😉 My favorite track is the first single “Hello,” but I also enjoy “Love In The Dark,” “I Miss You,” “Water Under the Bridge,” and this one below. Here’s the ballad “When We Were Young.”

How Quickly Does Time Fly?

The next Time Flies is scheduled for Saturday, April 30th. Until then, have a lovely April!

32 thoughts on “Time Flies!: March 2016

  1. Congrats on finishing draft #2 of TKC! Such a big accomplishment! I am not sure about the kinetic soul sketch, hmmm. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like the feel of chalk or charcoal or newsprint on my skin, so this would probably send me over the edge, lol:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tammy! 😀

      Yes, the soul-sketch workshop was VERY messy. The charcoal gets all over your hands and arms, on your feet (from stepping and walking on it), and on your clothes (so it’s good to wear dark clothing when doing it!). *lol* But it was fun to try it!

      Like

  2. First of all, the charcoal sketch is not messy at all. I can see a beautiful rangoli design in it. Rangoli incidentally are patterns we make outside our front doors and in the yard with white powder, either rice flour or ground white stone powder. So it was pretty! It looks like an interesting way to be creative and release one’s energies. I remember reading the character interview of Aurek, though I had not left a comment.

    I love this series of yours as I am unashamedly awed by all that you accomplish in a calendar month!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww, thank you, Zephyr. 🙂 I Googled “rangoli” since I hadn’t heard the term before, and I think I see the similarities. I guess I was comparing mine too closely to the other students’ sketches, which seemed more organized and recognizably shaped than mine. But it’s not very healthy to compare yourself negatively to others, isn’t it? 🙂

      Like

      • Oh Sara, we are allowed to be the kids once in a while, aren’t we, so an occasional comparison is fine. I am glad you could also see the similarities. I will send you the small ones I make outside my flat entrance by mail, ok?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, Sara, thank you so much for the mention of my “Staying True to You” post! ❤

    It sucks when you have to stop doing a fun feature like Stacking the Shelves (I've never participated in it, but it's always looked like a blast). But you sound like you've done the math, and if you've compared it to other features/priorities and it's just sucking up too much of your time that's needed elsewhere? Well, c'est la vie, eh?

    Cape Cod must be absolutely beautiful. I really, really hope to be able to visit the area sometime, and I'm crossing my fingers that y'all's renovations are finished soon! And a soul-sketching workshop? That looks and sounds incredible and so much fun! A night just to be messy and focus on you; just what the doctor ordered, methinks 🙂

    You've had a great month (still grinning for you about finishing TKC!), and I know April's going to be even better for you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! I really enjoyed it and thought other writers / readers would as well. 🙂

      Yeah, STS is fun, but it takes my focus away from other blog posts I’d rather work on. So I think it will be a beneficial decision in the long run.

      I LOVE CAPE COD. So it’ll be nice to have a reason to go down there more often. (I’ll still be living in mainland MA while my parents move to the Cape.)

      Oh YAH. That workshop was very messy. *lol* My hands were covered in charcoal by the end. It was under my fingernails, along my arms, on my feet and clothes – good thing I wore all black that night! The amazing thing was, though, it helped get rid of some stress tension I had in my shoulders that day. So, yes, the workshop was what the doctor ordered, like you said. 😉

      Thank you!! And you have a lovely April too, Rae.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can relate to that feeling of, “Shouldn’t I be writing??” even when you’re supposed to be having a break. xD Ah – so many good links to blog posts here – I want to devour them all but I have work to do! *keeps this page on hand so as to read links later* 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great month March was for you! Obviously the most important achievement was completing your 2nd major rewrite of ‘The Keeper’s Curse’ – a MAJOR undertaking and it is great news that you managed to complete it ahead of schedule. Apart from that, your range of blogging has always impressed me, especially given the quality of your writing. Here’s hoping April is every bit as successful for you:).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sarah! Yes, finishing TKC’s second draft was the big highlight of the month – and I have to admit, I’m chomping at the bit to start Draft #3. I really can’t stay away from it that long. *lol*

      I already have a number of April’s posts ready, so I’m very excited about what’s coming up here soon. 😉 Hope you have a good April, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw, I love seeing what books people have gotten every week and seeing what I need to put on my to-read list! But I also understand the feeling of “shouldn’t I be doing more ____?” which in your case is writing. I’ll keep geeking out over your bookmail on twitter then! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It sounds like this month was a great one for you! Exciting that you’re going to be a bridesmaid! I’ve been in weddings as a scripture reader and a flower girl, but not a bridesmaid yet! May April be productive for you!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That soul sketching workshop sounds pretty fun, even if I can’t really handle being messy. lol. It made me think about brainstorming on a big roll of paper now, like a giant mind map when plotting! I really liked Adele’s new CD, too. Might have to put some music on and get a giant pad of paper the next time I’m in the planning stages of my writing. 😀 Congrats on finishing your draft!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Amanda! It was so exciting to finishing Draft #2, and now it’s on to Draft #3. (Literally – I just started it today. 😉 )

      Yes, the soul-sketch workshop was a lot of fun, and very messy. My hands were covered in charcoal by the end, and it was on my feet, arms, clothes, even my nose… But it was more therapeutic than I expected it to be, too.

      Nice! So are you working on something right now, writing-wise?

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  9. You’ve had a very productive March! I’m glad your parents house is coming along smoothly. You have a wonderful excuse to keep visiting Cape Cod now. 😉
    Again so happy for you finishing Draft #2 TKC! I hope draft #3 is going well so far. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I want to go to the Cape someday (actually, all of Massachusetts and the East Coast)! Lucky you, to have an excuse to go visit a fun place 🙂 I love when I have family in cool places (like my brother and sister-in-law outside of Nashville). I’m glad things are coming along well for your parents 🙂

    I love charcoal! But it’s very messy. I usually end up with tiger stripes (on myself). I used to do charcoal pictures all the time. Not so much anymore, but I’ll pull it out when the mood strikes. Maybe music would help? My old art instructor used to turn on Enya for us every time we did inks, and now I associate Enya with productive creativity AND relaxation (this is the woman who introduced me to Enya in the first place).

    You aren’t the last person to the Adele party – I’ve only heard two or so songs off the current album! (I only listen to internet radio, and right now, my listening mood is evenly divided between indie pop/rock and Korean/Japanese artists). I do love Adele’s sound though, and her voice is the bomb. I’ll have to check out the rest 🙂 On that topic, have you ever heard Ella Henderson? She was on XFactor UK a few years back, and I have put a few of her songs in posts. She’s another British power singer with pop/rock influences, and an amazing voice.

    Great writing links 🙂 And good luck with that draft! I’ll be editing The Last Coffee Shop through April, if all goes as planned (I mean, I’ve started the editing process, but, well . . .)

    Cheers 🙂
    –RH

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, if you ever do come to MA or Cape Cod, you know someone in the area. 😉

      That might be a good idea, putting on some music the next time you want to draw or use charcoal or ink. Especially if it helps with the creative aspect. I like to play music when I use my mandala coloring book, too; usually my new age instrumental CDs, like the ones I shared in last month’s 5 on the 5th.

      25 is really, really good. IMO, it’s just as good as her previous album 21; and there’s only one song I don’t care for. It’s also one of those CDs where my favorite song tends to change each time I listen to it. 😉 I hope you like it!

      Hmmmm. I don’t think I’ve heard of Ella Henderson before…

      Ha ha, well, now that you’ve started editing TLCS, I’ll have to ask how it’s coming along every time we talk. 😉

      Like

      • -about TLCS- PLEASE DO! Not to shout, but I need to be shouted at over my headphones of distraction. I plan on doing some editing after work and Zumba. I’m in a dancing mood after your other post.

        Don’t worry, if I head to MA in the near future, you’re the first person I’m going to descend on with a horde of questions ;P

        I really liked 21 a lot, so that’s good to hear. I’ll definitely give it a listen 🙂
        ❤ R

        Liked by 1 person

  11. A bite late to this post, but better late than never. 🙂 Finishing the second draft is exciting. Good luck with the third. 🙂 I really like When We Were Young. it’s my favourite of Adele’s recent singles, though I haven’t listened to the album yet. I really need to get that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries, Phoenix. There’s no expiration date when it comes to commenting on posts. 😉

      Thanks very much on your comments regarding Drafts #2 and #3. Taking a few weeks off in between was a good decision, but now I’m really excited to be back in the story again. 🙂

      25 is really, really good. Definitely get a hold of it when you can, and I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

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