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.
Ahhhhh. What a lovely month this has been. I sort of feel sad that July is almost over, because it’s the most relaxed I’ve been all year. (With the exception of a flat tire earlier this week. ) So I want to savor that feeling a little longer.
August is going to be super-busy, though. The Writer’s Digest Conference is in 2 weeks, and Doctor Friend’s wedding (the one where I’ll be a bridesmaid) is 3 weeks later. My head spins just thinking about those events… But I think I have almost everything I need for both, so I’m not too stressed out. Well, not yet, anyway.
Ifyou’re wondering, I don’t anticipate taking a blogging hiatus next month. However, it may take me longer than usual to respond to comments, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from me right away.
Now, let’s get to this month’s recap!
This Month’s Posts
- New DIY MFA Article on Antagonists, Plus a New Worksheet & The DIY MFA Book!
- Recent Reads: June 2016 (+ My Favorite Reads So Far in 2016)
- A Blogoversary Interview with Sara Letourneau
- #WIPjoy June 2016: A Month of Celebrating Our WIPs (and a Collection of Tweets & Excerpts from Mine)
- Beautiful People, Vol. 17: Drasten Kolsteg from The Keeper’s Curse
- Chronicling The Craft: Draft #3 – 40% Progress Report
- Chronicling The Craft: Adjusting Your Writing Schedule (and Maintaining Your Sanity) In Response to Life Changes
- The Character Evolution Files, No. 11: The Journey Through the Character Arc, Stage 9 – The Moment of Truth (The Climax)
Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns
- “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 7 – The Antagonist-Protagonist Relationship” (DIY MFA)
- “Tea Time at Reverie: Plum Deluxe’s Self-Care Herbal Tea Blend” (A Bibliophile’s Reverie)**
- “What We’d Say to the World, in 6 Words” (Coach Daddy; my answer is #22)
**My review of Plum Deluxe’s Self-Care Herbal Tea is my final tea review for A Bibliophile’s Reverie.
- The Protagonist-Antagonist Relationship Themes Worksheet is now available for download at Worksheets for Writers.
What I’ve Been Doing Offline
Like June, July was relatively calm. Apart from a concert this coming Saturday (see “What I’ve Been Listening To” to find out more!), most of my plans were laid-back. I had some friends over for dinner on a Friday night, and met another friend for dinner on the 4th of July. Otherwise, I’ve been home editing, relaxing, and staying in air conditioning. I like summer, but not when it gets too hot or humid (or worse, both).
I visited my parents on Cape Cod again, too. We had lunch at the Dunbar Tea Room in Sandwich (also an excellent spot for buying loose-leaf tea) and visited three of the local beaches. The above collage shows some of my favorite photos I took that weekend:
- Top Row: Bass River Beach @ Yarmouth, MA. We went so I could see the dragon sand sculpture from last month’s annual Summer Celebration. Unfortunately the boy dragonrider’s head was gone (apparently because of vandals *grrrrrr*), but for being 4 weeks old, the sculpture was in amazing shape!
- Middle Row: Breakwater Beach @ Brewster, MA. When it’s low tide at Breakwater Beach, the tide goes WAY out. You can walk almost 1 mile into Cape Cod Bay then, and find hermit crabs and snails in the sand. The clouds from an offshore thunderstorm that night made for some gorgeous pre-sunset photos, too.
- Bottom Row: Mayflower Beach @ Dennis, MA. Taken the same evening as the Breakwater Beach photos, except during and right after sunset, and with the same storm clouds in the distance.
I also stopped at Market Street Bookshop, one of my favorite indie booksellers on Cape Cod. Not only is the staff friendly and knowledgeable, but the SF&F selection there (both YA and adult) is fantastic! Here’s a photo of my book haul from there.
The cutest event of the month, though? I attended a baby shower for one of my college friends! She’s due in mid-September, and she and her husband have decided to wait until the baby’s born to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl. So, the function hall was decorated with neutral yellows and greens as well as blues and pinks. It was adorable, and Mom-to-Be’s mother and mother-in-law did a wonderful job planning the party, with lots of food, games, and prizes for guests. (I won a home pedicure kit!) It was also great to catch up with friends, since it had been a while since we last saw each other.
What I’ve Been Writing (a.k.a. TKC Update)
Chapter 18 of The Keeper’s Curse is done editing-wise, so I’m just over halfway through Draft #3 now. I’m expecting progress to slow a bit in August, with everything that will be going on then. But that doesn’t dampen how pleased I am with this draft so far. 🙂
What I’ve Been Watching
I saw Star Trek Beyond with my brother during my Cape trip. I’m not a huge fan of the Star Trek TV shows (not for a lack of trying, though), but I’m familiar enough with the franchise that I’ve enjoyed the reboot films. And Beyond was pretty good! I had some quibbles with how Spock’s and Captain Kirk’s internal struggles were downplayed for most of the film. But hey, it’s a fun space adventure, with aliens and lots of explosions, and a reminder of the power of teamwork. Plus, new character Jaylah kicks major butt, and Idris Elba is RULES, no matter if he plays a good guy or a villain.
What I’ve Been Listening To
Last month I mentioned that I wanted to buy new music by Sarah McLachlan to get into the spirit of her upcoming Boston show with Josh Groban. (It’s this Saturday night – yay!) I ended up getting 2014’s Shine On and 2010’s Laws of Illusion. (The above track, “Surrender and Certainty,” is from Shine On.) They’re pretty good, with more variety and less atmosphere than her older albums while retaining her thoughtful, folksy sound. I think Surfacing is still my favorite album by Sarah, but getting acquainted with her more recent material has been a delight.
And of course, I’ve been listening to Josh Groban because of his upcoming show! (Why wouldn’t I? *wink*) So, I’ll share a song of his that I hope he’ll perform that night. Here’s his amazing rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” from his latest album Stages.
What I’ve Been Sipping: Whispering Pines’s Golden Lily Oolong Tea
I love drinking oolong tea while writing or editing, especially when I’m home on weekends so I can resteep the leaves several times. One particular gem I’ve enjoyed lately is Golden Lily, a milky oolong from Whispering Pines Tea Company.
Never heard of a milky oolong before? It has a distinct, creamy texture that adds depth to this otherwise delicate tea. It also smells creamy, in a vanilla, coconut, and tropical fruit way. Flavor-wise, Golden Lily balances floral undertones with pineapple and mango notes, with a slight grassy taste in later steeps. If you’re looking for an aromatic, luxuriously smooth tea that’s perfect for meditating or reading, this is an exquisite choice.
Click here to learn more about or order Golden Lily Oolong from Whispering Pines. If it’s out of stock, you can sign up to receive email alerts when it and other WP teas are available again.
How Quickly Does Time Fly?
The next Time Flies will post on Tuesday, August 30th. Have a fun month, and stay cool!