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.
It feels right to start off this month’s Time Flies with a big “thank-you” hug for everyone’s support recently. You were right: I didn’t need to worry about how downsizing my blogging schedule would affect things here. Plus, I feel more relaxed now that I’ve accepted my new time limitations and am focusing on quality and enjoyment instead of quantity and pace. This was the right choice, and I thank you all so much for encouraging me to do what was best for me.
Speaking of change, I’ve altered the format of Time Flies this month. It’s not too different from what it was before, but you’ll see what I mean as this post goes on. So, let’s get to it!
Oh – and I’m still looking for questions for the upcoming blogoversary interview! Read here to learn how you can submit them. The deadline is Tuesday, July 5th! 😉
This Month’s Posts
- Looking for Suggestions for This Year’s Blogoversary (poll now closed – thanks again for your votes!)
- Recent Reads: May 2016
- Which Zodiac Sign Fits Your Character Best? (Plus, A New Worksheet!)
- Rock The Vault: Celebrating the Urban and Rural Setting Thesaurus Duo (A Guest Post by Angela Ackerman of Writers Helping Writers)
- Beautiful People, Vol. 16: Uncle Lusan from The Keeper’s Curse
- Submit Your Questions for a Blogoversary Interview with Me!
- Five Benefits of Buddy-Reading
- The Character Evolution Files, No. 10: The Journey Through the Character Arc, Stage 8 – The Aftermath (Act III, First Half)
Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns
- Tea Time at Reverie: Plum Deluxe’s Reading Nook Black Tea Blend
(A Bibliophile’s Reverie)
- The Zodiac Signs & Character Traits Worksheets are now available for download at Worksheets for Writers.
What I’ve Been Doing Offline
June was the first relaxing month I’ve had in a while. Nothing exciting or stressful happened… which was strange, given how busy 2016 has been so far. That’s a good thing, though. The craziness will come back in August and September, with a trip to Writer’s Digest Conference and then my friend’s wedding (the one where I’ll be a bridesmaid) 3 weeks later. So, right now I’m savoring and taking advantage of this quiet span.
I visited my parents on Cape Cod for two weekends. Two of my Maine aunts also came one weekend, and we took them to some local gift shops, ate a lot of food (*lol*), and played a couple rounds of Clue, which I hadn’t played in ages! (Thus the animated GIF below.) The other visit was during my dad’s birthday weekend, and we celebrated by visiting Heritage Gardens & Museums in Sandwich and then lunch at the Dolphin Restaurant in Barnstable. I highly recommend their crab melt sandwich. Mmmmmmm.
Also, remember the tea-blending project inspired by my WIP? I’m finally back on it. It’s not quite done yet, but it’s close. I’m satisfied with blends for two more characters (Vandar and Doni) and still have three more to figure out. Hopefully last month’s package of Adagio samples will finish things up, so I might be able to give away more samples in the future.
By the way, if anyone is wondering why I haven’t shared any photos here in the past couple months… The camera I got as a gift this past Christmas stopped working back in May. Good news, though: Since the camera was still under warranty, I took a chance and sent it back to the manufacturer – and IT WORKS AGAIN! 😀 Turns out the main control board had died, so Nikon replaced it, and now it’s as good as new. So now I can share pictures of my “Cape-scapades” and other things again here and on Twitter.
What I’ve Been Writing (a.k.a. TKC Update)
As of last night, I’ve finished editing Chapter 13 of The Keeper’s Curse and have read through Chapter 14. This puts me at roughly 38% through Draft #3, so watch for new Chronicling The Craft posts for the 40% milestone in July! I’ll also have EXCITING news about Draft #3’s progress – and that’s all I’ll say for now. 😉
What I’ve Been Watching
I haven’t gone to the movies lately, so all I’ve watched recently has been…
Orphan Black. The show’s fourth season ended 2 weeks ago, and… Gosh, I’m still REELING from it. I always knew the executive-clone Rachel was ruthless, but now she’s taken it to a whole new level – and I was NOT expecting that. 😮 And thanks to her character, I might be in #CloneClub therapy until next season. If you’re a fellow fan, feel free to join me. I could use the company.
Speaking of next season: BBC America has announced that Orphan Black has been renewed for a fifth and final season in 2017. Apparently a five-season run was the showrunners’ original vision, so it’s great that we’ll get to see this crazy genre-mashup show wrap up naturally. But it’s also sad to know the end is near. If you haven’t started watching Orphan Black yet, now is a great time to catch up on Seasons 1 through 4.
And what about Game of Thrones? Holy… I… can’t… even. Last weekend’s season finale was a monster, in the most positive sense of that word. It was beautiful, suspenseful, horrifying, and full of revelations. (Especially the BIG ONE, if you know what I mean.) An incredible end to an overall amazing season, with some of the best acting we’ve seen so far on the show. Not to mention my mind is already on overdrive, just by thinking about where everyone’s storylines will go from here.
If I have any critiques for Season 6 of GoT, it would be the inconsistent timing between events. Sometimes characters traveled from Point A to Point B a lot faster than possible, or the passage of time between scenes or episodes didn’t make sense. I hope the showrunners can rectify that in Season 7… but overall, this was a WOW of a season, and it’s hard to believe we may be down to the last season or two. Then again, with the way this finale ended, it’s clear that The End is in sight.
As always, I’m happy to chat about Orphan Black or Game of Thrones with other fans, here or on Twitter. Please remember, though: No spoilers, in case other people haven’t watched them yet!
What I’ve Been Listening To
I’ve been on a Katatonia kick lately, thanks to their new album The Fall of Hearts. The best way to describe this Swedish band’s music is gothic rock/metal with progressive influences. It’s melodic, nuanced, full of contrasts, and surprisingly catchy in spots; and while their lyrics focus on loss, alienation, and loneliness, there’s also a sense of transcending those feelings to find something better. “Old Heart Falls” is one of the best examples of this from the new CD.
The best part about my Katatonia phase, apart from enjoying their new songs? Their music reminds me of Nomaro, one of the protagonists in a novella I’m planning to write. So, I feel like listening to The Fall of Hearts is psyching me up for that story. Yay! 🙂
I also dug out my two Sarah McLachlan albums recently. She’s the opening act for Josh Groban’s summer tour, and I’m going to their Boston show next month with my mother and a couple friends. (OH YAH – I’m seeing Josh Groban in concert AGAIN! 😀 ) It’s been nice to revisit Afterglow and Surfacing. I’d forgotten how much I liked songs like “Building a Mystery” (above), “Adia,” “World On Fire,” and “Angel.” The only problem? I don’t have any of her more recent CDs – and I’m sure she’ll play songs from them during her set! Does anyone have recommendations?
What I’ve Been Sipping: Relax and Renew Herbal Tea from Soluna Garden Farms
I’m getting ready to post my last tea review for A Bibliophile’s Reverie (*sniffle*); and since many readers here enjoy tea, I thought this might be a good spot to give a monthly tea recommendation. 🙂
This month, I’ve chosen Relax and Renew from Soluna Garden Farms in Winchester, Massachusetts. This herbal tisane blends savory rosemary and cloves with lavender, spearmint, and chamomile. Sure, it sounds like an odd combination, but it doesn’t smell or taste that way. Each brew is bright and refreshing, highlighted by a sweet, herbaceous fragrance, a smooth texture, and a floral, minty profile ending in a clean, lightly spicy aftertaste. This is a delightfully harmonious tea that can soothe you after a long, stressful day at work or cheer you up in the middle of the day.
Think you might like Relax and Renew? Check it out here at Soluna Garden Farms’ website.
How Quickly Does Time Fly?
The next Time Flies will post on Thursday, July 28th. It’s a few days earlier than usual, but with my new blogging schedule it will be the last time I post something that month.
Stay cool and be safe now that summer’s here! 🙂