Time Flies!: April 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 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

Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns

Site Updates & News

  1. I’ve reorganized the Awards & Achievements page so that the blog awards I’ve won are now listed in alphabetical order.
  2. The Themes In Symbolism Worksheet is now available at the Worksheets for Writers page.
  3. 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

  1. “12 Common Writing Errors Even Bestselling Authors Make” by Ricardo Fayet (BookBub)
  2. “Change, Compromise, or Dig Your Heels In: Dealing with the Editorial Report” by Juliet Marillier (Writer Unboxed)
  3. “Fear Is Boring, and Other Tips for Living a Creative Life” by Elizabeth Gilbert (Ideas.TED.Com)
  4. “How to Share Your Protagonist’s Deepest Feelings with Readers” by Angela Ackerman (Writers Helping Writers)
  5. “The Magic of Old Books” (Chasing Dreams Publishing)
  6. “Merchandising Rights in Publishing Deals” by Susan Spann (Writers In The Storm)
  7. “Ten Tolkien Quotes for Your Writing Wednesday” by Brittany Valentine (The New Authors Fellowship)
  8. “Time Management vs Energy Management” by Leanne Sowul (Words From the Sowul)
  9. “Value Your Writing (‘Cause No One Else Will)” by Kelly Robertson (Dead Darlings)
  10. “Villains vs Antagonists vs Antiheroes – What’s the Difference and Does It Matter?” by Rebekah Hendrian

Offline Happenings

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*)

Pic 1_1

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!

18 thoughts on “Time Flies!: April 2016

    • Yes! Happy May! And a very Happy-Day-After-Game-of-Thrones, right? Did you see last night’s episode?? 😀 😀 😀

      Thank you! I’m so happy about the dress. And the move went… well, about as well as it could have. Like I told Sarah in her comment below, moves are always chaotic and whatnot. But once my parents are more settled and things are in their proper places, it’ll be good.

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  1. It’s been a really full-on month for you, hasn’t it?? Love you in the dress – it really suits you:). I do hope your parents’ move goes really smoothly and that you don’t encounter any major issues in your editing pass of The Keeper’s Curse. I’m trudging on, though not as fast as I would like… Not enough hours in the day! Have a great May – and let’s hope the weather improves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really was, yeah. I’m still a little exhausted from it this morning. (Actually, no. I’m exhausted because I barely slept after last night’s Game Of Thrones. But that’s a whole other story. *lol*)

      Thank you!! I love that dress so much, especially since the color and style make it something I could wear again in the future (i.e., after the wedding). 😀

      The move went… well, smoothly, I guess? But moves are always chaotic and messy and confusing, and my parents had to temporarily leave some things at my place because they didn’t have enough space in their cars and the moving truck for all of their stuff. :S But they should have everything in the new house by the end of this week, and I’ll visit them the following weekend once they’re more settled.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Moving house is classed as the most traumatic life event after bereavement and divorce – and with good reason! It sounds like they have managed it – and having your help is probably a great big plus. You always strike me as a very organised person:). Yes – the dress really does suit you and it’s always a bonus to be able to get something you can wear afterwards.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that about moving… and it makes sense! Your life is totally upended for days or weeks while it’s going on. I felt the same when I moved into my condo – a considerably smaller move than Mom & Dad’s, but still overwhelming.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That dress looks gorgeous on you! What will the colors be for the wedding?
    So glad your parents’ move went well, though busy and messy I’m sure. I read the previous comments. I’m glad you were still able to get some “you” time in.
    Btw, just like books, one can never have enough tea. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, E! 😀 The main colors are navy blue, blush / champagne pink, and gold. They’re classic romantic colors, and they fit the decor of the wedding venue perfectly. (She’s having it at the Langham Hotel in Boston.)

      Yeah… and if one day of helping them unpack and deal with the chaos drained me, I can only imagine how they feel right now. :/ But things will settle down eventually, and their house will look beautiful once the rest of the updates are done.

      I’m still a little tired today, but I’ll manage. But the focus for the rest of the week will be on self-care and getting enough sleep, and sneaking in a bit of editing in between it all.

      “Btw, just like books, one can never have enough tea.”

      Ehhhh… Tea is like any food, though. The leaves go stale after a while. I actually had to throw out a couple 1+ year old teas recently because their brews had developed an “off” taste. :/

      Books, however. Those don’t have expiration dates. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds beautiful! What a fabulous classic color scheme. I’ve yet to visit the Langham Hotel. I hope I’ll get to see some photos. 🙂
        Good, I’m glad you’re getting some much needed rest (and fitting in editing too). Moving is quite a workout, for both the body and mind. I hope you’re parents are doing well and not too stressed.

        I either have strange tastebuds or I’ve never paid enough attention, because I had no idea tea could go stale…*blushes*. Does that include the Teavana teas? If so, I better start finishing mine up before a year passes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t been to the Langham in person, either, but it seems gorgeous from the photos. My friend should be having a tasting of the wedding menu next month; and if it’s on a Friday I have off from work, I’ve been invited to go with her and her fiance. 😀

        My parents are doing OK. Life is still very discombobulated for them right now; still rearranging furniture, getting some work done inside the house, getting used to their new schedules, etc. All the usual stuff with moves. :/

        Yes, all teas go stale after a while. (Though herbals tend to last longer, from what I’ve heard…?) And the general rule of thumb is 1 year, especially with black teas. It’s easier to tell when they’re getting old, since they have a much stronger taste than green, white, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh that sounds like fun! I’m sure the menu will be delicious to try.
        Most of my teas are herbal, so maybe that’s why I haven’t noticed. Though I did recently get some black tea pearls from Teavana. I better finish those up then!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. *whimpers* I miss After Forever!! You did a great job of showing their special qualities with one song and a couple paragraphs. Ironically, one of my favorite things (of theirs) to listen to is their cover of Heart’s “Alone.” So gorgeous.

    Thanks for mentioning my post!!!

    I second the “you look great in the dress.” It’s lovely, and it looks very comfortable. The wedding sounds like it’s at a fun venue. Do you plan on taking pictures? (I know it can be hard when you’re in a wedding!)

    As you might have guessed, my April, and my past few weeks, have been beyond crazy, so I feel your pain. I am SO behind with everything that it isn’t funny anymore. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes. 🙂

    I hope things have calmed down a bit on your end!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I miss them, too! 😦 Their last album is my favorite one of theirs, so it felt like they were really hitting their stride and then… well..

      You’re welcome! 🙂 It was an easy choice for a Gem – and it’s been getting a lot of Pinterest likes and shares, too!

      Thank you for your comments about the bridesmaid dress. 🙂 Not sure about taking photos, though. Knowing me, I’ll probably be too caught up in things to remember to take them. (I’m also having problems with the camera I got for Christmas, so I need to get that fixed if I want to take any photos, period. :S )

      Things have calmed down, yes. Which was good, because I was EXHAUSTED last week. But I’m feeling better now. I read your April post yesterday but never got around to commenting (will do that today), but yeah, it looks like you had a crazy April, too. How are you feeling?

      Life is an eternal game of catch-up, isn’t it? XD Seriously, though. That’s how I feel about it some of the time!

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    • May has been a lot less chaotic than April, yes. (So far, at least.) I think the theme of this month is “adjustment,” which I’ll go over in the next Time Flies.

      Thanks again for stopping by, Joanna!

      Like

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