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 Day Before May Day, everyone! 🙂
Just a quick note before we jump into this month’s recap: I might not be around to respond to comments on this and other posts until Monday. My parents are finally moving to Cape Cod this weekend, so I’ll be away from the computer most of the time. I’m hoping to catch up with any replies and such next week!
Also, don’t forget to enter the latest thank-you giveaways! They end at midnight EST on Tuesday, May 3rd. If you’re a writer or an avid reader, then these should pique your interest. 😉
Now, here’s what happened during April:
This Month’s Posts
- The One Lovely Blog Award
- 5 on the 5th: Five Reasons Why I’m Excited for Season 6 of “Game of Thrones”
- Recent Reads: March 2016
- Chronicling The Craft: Draft #3 Begins!
- Beautiful People, Vol. 14: Vandar from “The Keeper’s Curse”
- Another “Thank-You” Giveaway!
- What Do Your Favorite Stories Have In Common?
- The Author’s Oracle Writing Tag
- The Character Evolution Files, No. 8: The Journey Through the Character Arc, Stage 6 – The Charge (Act II, Second Half)
Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns
- Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 5 – Symbolism (DIY MFA)
- Profiles of Courage: Compelling Female Characters in Fantasy Who Defy the “Strong Female Protagonist” Stereotype (Fantasy Cafe)
- Tea Time at Reverie: Tea Maineia’s Peach Apricot Black Tea (A Bibliophile’s Reverie)
- Tea Time at Reverie: Whispering Pines Tea Company’s Mirkwood Tea
(A Bibliophile’s Reverie)
Site Updates & News
- I’ve reorganized the Awards & Achievements page so that the blog awards I’ve won are now listed in alphabetical order.
- The Themes In Symbolism Worksheet is now available at the Worksheets for Writers page.
- Not site-related news, but in case you missed it earlier this month: DIY MFA, one of the sites where I’m a staff writer, was recently named one of Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 101 Best Websites for Writers!
April’s Gems from the Blogosphere
- “12 Common Writing Errors Even Bestselling Authors Make” by Ricardo Fayet (BookBub)
- “Change, Compromise, or Dig Your Heels In: Dealing with the Editorial Report” by Juliet Marillier (Writer Unboxed)
- “Fear Is Boring, and Other Tips for Living a Creative Life” by Elizabeth Gilbert (Ideas.TED.Com)
- “How to Share Your Protagonist’s Deepest Feelings with Readers” by Angela Ackerman (Writers Helping Writers)
- “The Magic of Old Books” (Chasing Dreams Publishing)
- “Merchandising Rights in Publishing Deals” by Susan Spann (Writers In The Storm)
- “Ten Tolkien Quotes for Your Writing Wednesday” by Brittany Valentine (The New Authors Fellowship)
- “Time Management vs Energy Management” by Leanne Sowul (Words From the Sowul)
- “Value Your Writing (‘Cause No One Else Will)” by Kelly Robertson (Dead Darlings)
- “Villains vs Antagonists vs Antiheroes – What’s the Difference and Does It Matter?” by Rebekah Hendrian
If I had to pick two words to best describe April 2016… well, they would be “chaos” and “calm.” (Yes, they’re opposites, but they’re both appropriate.) Nothing bad happened; it was just busy for various reasons. Work, planning the “bachelorette party” for Doctor Friend’s wedding, arranging my NYC trip in August, helping my parents move, keeping up with everyday responsibilities…
Yeah. It was a struggle to stay on top of everything. Sometimes I had to step back and breathe, or step away for a day or two and hit “Reset.” It’s easy to forget to give yourself a chance to recharge when life gets crazy> But once you grant yourself that permission, you really do feel better afterwards.
That explains the “chaos.” The “calm” came halfway through April, when I took a week’s vacation. And ohhhh, was it relaxing. A good deal of “me” time, with a day trip to Cape Cod, a visit with my Reiki practioner, and a Saturday outing with Yoga Friend. And tea shopping. As if I needed to buy more tea. (*lol*)
I also started working on Draft #3 of my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse this month. (Woo hoo!) o far I’ve read through Chapter 6 (out of a total of 34) and have edited the first scene of it. Some chapters have needed quite a bit of trimming, puzzle-piece rearranging, and other changes, which I had anticipated. And apart from one character whose personality I’m still having trouble nailing (though I think I’ve finally got him “right”), the editing is going pretty well. Let’s see if I can make enough progress in May to issue the first Chronicling The Craft posts for this draft. (*fingers crossed*)
Last but not least, my bridesmaid dress for Doctor Friend’s wedding has arrived – and I LOVE IT! You can see a longer version of the dress (in Newport Navy) at J.Crew’s website here. The short version, which I’m wearing, isn’t available anymore, so I’m glad we ordered them just in time!
Song of the Month: “Evoke” by After Forever
I’ve been an “revisiting” mood again with music, and the CD I’ve replayed most recently has been After Forever’s self-titled final album. (The band split up in 2009.) It’s one of my favorite symphonic and female-fronted metal albums ever – and you know what? It’s gotten better with age. 🙂
If you’re familiar with Within Temptation’s music thanks to this post… well, it’s hard to compare WT and AF, because their styles sound so different despite belonging to the same genre. But After Forever’s is more intense and dynamic, with three vocalists including a death grunter. Floor Jansen was always the band’s shining star, though. And if you check out “Evoke” below, you’ll hear both the operatic and “normal” ends of her vocal spectrum. In one word: PHENOMENAL.
How Quickly Does Time Fly?
The next Time Flies is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31st. Have a wonderful month!