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.
I’m starting this post with a confession: While I’ve managed to keep up with my own blog-writing, I’ve been so burnt out from the past month’s busyness that I’m struggling to keep up with reading other blogs or replying to comments. I’ve also been dealing with stress from (without going into too much detail) expected and unexpected sources. Some days were great, but others… Yeah.
I hope this is temporary, though, since I still have one big event around the corner: My friend’s wedding (the one where I’m a bridesmaid) is this coming Saturday. Maybe once things calm down and I have some time to rest and regroup, I’ll feel some semblance of my normal self. But I just wanted to let readers know what’s going on, since you guys deserve my honesty.
But I really can’t complain. August was an awesome month on its best days, and it ends with much that I’m grateful for. This will make more sense as this post goes along, so let’s start with…
This Month’s Posts
- The Six-Question Character Challenge
- Recent Reads: July 2016 (+ How I’m Doing With My 2016 Reading Plan)
- Why Creativity Is Essential For All Genres (A Guest Post by Leanne Sowul)
- Five Reasons Why The DIY MFA Book Is a Must-Read for Writers
- Beautiful People, Vol. 18: What Does Nomaro (Future Novella Protagonist) Look Like?
- Writing Spaces, Rituals, and Other Habits
- The Character Evolution Files, No. 12: The Journey Through the Character Arc, Stage 10 – The Emergence (Resolution)
Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns
- The Act I Choice Themes Worksheet is available for download at Worksheets for Writers.
What I’ve Been Doing Offline
First of all, the Josh Groban and Sarah McLachlan concert. Oh. My. Goodness. One my favorite concerts ever. Josh was wonderful once again, with his incredible voice and goofy humor. He performed a great mix of original songs and covers from his Broadway tribute album Stages. Sarah’s set, on the other hand, was like a trip down memory lane. She played many of her ’90s hits (and some newer songs, too), and she performed them alone on piano or acoustic guitar. Hearing stripped-down versions of “Possession,” “Adia,” “Building a Mystery,” and “World On Fire” highlighted her songwriting, and they were all magical.
Josh and Sarah also performed her biggest hit “Angel” as a duet! I knew they’d done this years ago, but it was lovely to hear it in person. I’ve included a YouTube video that another fan filmed during the Boston show, so you can watch and listen to it, too.
Then came Writer’s Digest Conference 2016 – and it was AMAZING. Even more so than last year’s edition, to be honest. I met more writers (including more of my awesome colleagues from the DIY MFA staff), reunited with friends I’d made last year, learned more about writing and the publishing industry, and came home with more books and ideas for the future. I’m planning to do a one-off post about WDC here in September, once I’ve had some time to organize my notes and other lingering thoughts.
What else happened in August? Well, I visited my family on Cape Cod again and went to my first Cape Cod Baseball League game to root on the home team, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. (Also, congrats to Y-D on winning the CCBL championship for the third year in a row!) I also went to a family birthday party for my cousin’s 9-year-old son and brought a homemade blueberry jello mold for it. I meant to take a photo of the blueberry jello mold for you… But it slipped my mind. (*oops*)
What I’ve Been Writing (a.k.a. TKC Update)
I’m now on Chapter 24 of The Keeper’s Curse, which means I’m beyond the 60% mark for Draft 3! More details will come in my Chronicling the Craft posts on Tuesday, September 6th (progress report and novel playlist) and Thursday, September 8th (tips).
What I’ve Been Watching
No new movies or TV shows, but I watched the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio quite a bit! It was so exciting to watch so many talented athletes, witness their emotions, and learn some of their amazing stories. And I don’t know if other Americans feel the same way, but the Olympics were a welcome reprieve from the (disgusting) presidential election coverage. It’s wonderful to see people from all around the world come together for goodwill as well as friendly competition.
Did anyone else watch the Olympics? What were some of your favorite moments from this year’s Games? Mine was watching Aly Raisman’s and Simone Biles’s back-to-back floor exercise routines that earned them gold and silver in the women’s gymnastics all-around event. Seeing Aly cry when she finished, and then how both girls hugged and celebrated together when the results came in… What camaraderie. 🙂
What I’ve Been Listening To
One of the biggest surprises of the Josh Groban / Sarah McLachlan concert was their opening act. Foy Vance is a pop/rock singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland – and WOW. His set was only him on acoustic guitar or keyboards and a drummer, but the “stripped-down” versions of his songs still exuded so much emotion. And what a voice. Raspy yet powerful and soulful. So now I want to get his new album The Wild Swan (which features “Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye,” my favorite song from his concert set). My friends and I might be seeing one of his local shows in October, too.
What I’ve Been Sipping: Meditative Mind White Tea from Spice Merchants
One of my favorite “tea discoveries” this year has been anything with rosebuds. I love how they give a heady, romantic scent yet a subtle floral flavor to a brew. So, imagine my joy when I found rosebuds blended with jasmine, my other favorite floral tea!
Which leads to this month’s tea highlight. Meditative Mind from Spice Merchants blends Chinese white tea, jasmine green tea pearls, and rosebuds for an aromatic, sensual, and positively divine cup. It’s gorgeous to look at in its dry form, too, with its brilliant contrasts of pink and green. But the point, of course, is to drink Meditative Mind; and with its rosy-tinged golden color, hypnotic and soothing fragrance, and lush yet delicate flavor profile, it’s hard to not fall in love with it. This is a wonderful tea companion for reading, writing, or relaxing after a long, stressful day.
Curious about Meditative Mind? Click here to read about it at Spice Merchants.
How Quickly Does Time Fly?
The next Time Flies is scheduled for Thursday, September 29th. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer (or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)!