What’s Making Me Happy: August 2017

As I write this, I’m battling a cold (which should be gone by the time this goes live), so I can barely grope for words to summarize my August. Except for “awesome.” Yes. I still dealt with lingering anxiety in my offline life, but as the month comes to a close, I’m utterly delighted with what happened and what I accomplished during that time.

So, yes, it was an awesome August. Say that alliteration ten times fast. 😉

Since today is the last day of August, it’s also time to share some of the joys of the past month. I’m taking a slightly different approach this time, too. Instead of mostly material items, I included two accomplishments (or, rather, “to-do list” items that I completed) and one experience. And feel free to share your August joys in your comments. I always love hearing what’s made you happy, too!

My cell phone doesn’t take great photos, but LOOK HOW CLOSE I WAS!

I Saw Anathema (One of My Favorite Bands) in Concert 

While I was in NYC for Writer’s Digest Conference (which I’m hoping to have a recap post ready for in the next couple weeks), I caught British prog rockers Anathema on tour at the Gramercy Theater. And their show. Was. FANTASTIC! It was the second time I’d seen them play live, and while I loved the first gig of theirs that I attended (September 2013 in Cambridge, MA), it doesn’t compare to the fact that this time I was IN THE SECOND ROW. 😀 And when you’re 5 foot 3 inches tall, having such a close view at a general admission show makes a huge difference.

For their setlist, Anathema played five songs from their new album The Optimist and several older songs, some of which I’d heard the first time I saw the band live, and others for the first time. Here’s a high-quality YouTube video (not mine) of their performance of “Untouchable Part 2” from the NYC show.

I Finished My Magazine Bin Organization Project

Back in June, I posted about my recent decluttering and re-organization streak. This past month, I finished the next such project on my list: my magazine bin. I combed through all of the Writer’s Digest and Poets & Writers issues I’d kept since 2013, decided which articles (or entire issues) to save, and tossed the rest. And now, not only do I have a smaller collection of favorite or useful articles, but the bin is also so much lighter- and no longer bulging! (It’s one of these heavyweight polyester storage bins with grommet handles, in brown… so, yeah, if you fill them up enough, they can bulge. *blushes*)

As for my next decluttering project, I think I’ll go through my extensive journal collection next month. I have so many that I don’t remember which ones are full or partially used, so this will be a good chance to empty out my nightstand and see what’s worth saving.

I Also Fulfilled the Last Remaining Perks for My Iceland Writers Retreat GoFundMe Campaign (Well, Sort Of)

Some of you might remember the crowdfunding campaign I ran over the winter for my trip to the Iceland Writers Retreat. That campaign had a number of perks, including custom tea blends, an online photo album of my trip, and first-chapter critiques. And just before my recent NYC trip, I finished the final first-chapter critique. This means that, except for one perk category, all of the perks have now been fulfilled.

I might sound like a broken record by now, but I really do appreciate everyone’s support (either financial or emotional) for that campaign and the Iceland trip overall. And to everyone who opted to receive perks, I hope you enjoyed them or found them beneficial in some way. So thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart. ❤

Oh, and that last perk category to fulfill? Listing the names of donors who contributed at least $15 USD in the acknowledgements of my first published novel. Unfortunately that won’t happen for a while… But I have the list typed up for when the day comes!

I’m Reading Tea Time Magazine

A friend of mine had told me about Tea Time a couple years ago, but I didn’t investigate it until earlier this summer. And, well, the July / August issue looked so pretty and delectable that I bought a full year’s subscription!

Tea Time is North America’s premier magazine for all things tea-related. They publish six issues each year, and have a beautiful website where they feature additional articles and photos. So what kinds of articles do they feature? Profiles on tea companies and tea rooms from around the world. Recipes for savories and desserts to serve during afternoon teas and other events. Place settings and serving china. And that’s just for starters. 🙂

In short, I’m already enjoying the magazine, and I look forward to whatever teas, goodies, and adventures they share in the coming year. And who knows? Maybe I’ll try some of their recipes.

I Watched Season 7 of “Game of Thrones”


OK, that’s out of the way. (*lol*) But this season has been a momentous one for Game of Thrones, with reunions galore, long-awaited meetings between certain characters, and lots of revelations. I won’t get more specific, since I don’t want to spoil anything for fans who haven’t seen the episodes yet… But I will say there were plenty of surprises, yet other things were NOT a surprise, more or less due to personal predictions than the leaks (which I tried very hard to avoid!). A good example: I’ve had a hunch for the past couple seasons that something like the finale’s final scene would happen, but that didn’t make it any less terrifying!

The only critiques I have about Season 7? How quickly (to the point of illogic) everyone travels from place to place in a single episode (does WesterosiAir exist?), and how frequently the showrunners use dei ex machina to rescue characters. But I digress.

On a related note, did anyone catch the Orphan Black series finale? (Again, AKJLKFJASKLFJAKLSJFAJLFJALJLFJALAAAAAAAAAAA.)

What were some of the things that made you happy in August? Have you finished (or started) any decluttering, organization, or related projects at home? Do you read any magazines or similar publications? And if you’re a GoT fan, what are your thoughts about Season 7?

16 thoughts on “What’s Making Me Happy: August 2017

  1. Another lovely article, Sara:). We are just about to become GoT viewers! Himself has become sucked in, watching a few episodes on his computer, so has requested the first 6 season for his birthday which we can then watch together (gulp!). I am looking forward to it – the acting appears to be excellent and I’m currently caught up in the first season of Outlander, which I’m hugely enjoying.
    Best of luck with your ongoing projects – and hope the writing is going well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s a LOT of binge-watching to do for GoT! *lol* But you and Himself have plenty of time for it. Apparently Season 8 might not air until spring of 2019… So take your time with catching up. And yes, the acting is incredibly well-done for the most part. It’s been amazing to see the younger actors mature as their characters have grown up, especially the ones who play Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, and Arya Stark.

      Outlander… I watched a couple episodes, but can’t say I was compelled enough to keep watching or to read the books. But the Scottish scenery is beautiful.

      Thanks for the well wishes, btw. 🙂 And yes, the writing is going well. I’ll have a seasonal update on all things creative sometime in September.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome August, I like how that flows. 🙂 Mine has certainly been awesome at times, but rubbish at others. A good final day though. And I’ve heard the same thing about GoT season 7 – about them travelling really fast. I’m still making my way through the early series, but a friend watches it and that was the first thing she said about it. I wondered if they’re having trouble now they don’t have the books to guide them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it definitely threw off the pacing at times this season, or at least made the pacing questionable. I don’t think they’re having trouble with moving the story forward – in fact, the showrunners’ vision for it seems very clear. It’s just that they’re trying to wrap up everything in two shortened seasons (seven episodes this season, possibly six next season) instead of full-length 10-episode seasons. So it feels a little rushed at times, even if theoretically a few weeks could pass during the course of one episode.

      But GoT is still a good show. The acting is incredible, and the writing is still clever at times. So if you like the early seasons, definitely keep watching. How far in to the show are you currently?

      Glad to hear that your August was good for the most part. I hope September is an even better month for you. 🙂


  3. I’m glad you had a good August! I’m getting over a cold myself. XD I caught it over the weekend. Not enough sleep plus crowds equals sneezes. I think the worst of it is behind me. XD Which is good since I have work on Friday haha. I’ve heard of Tea Time magazine! A friend of mine bought an issue and I took some pictures of the recipes. I think I tried a rose chocolute mousse one that was really good. ^ ^


    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh. Well, that’s how I caught my cold, too, right at the end of Writer’s Digest Conference. But it’s completely gone now, and I hope you feel better soon!

      Isn’t Tea Time so pretty? 😀 I’d received the September / October issue before this post had gone live, too. It makes me want to throw an autumn-themed tea party. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Tori!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s such a lovely idea to reflect back on all the positive things that happened in the last month! I think it is sometimes easy to overlook the good things when other things are making us feel stressed or tired or unhappy.

    Also, I can’t believe there is a whole magazine devoted to tea. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I said something very similar to someone else about this series yesterday. 🙂 It reminds me a little of my daily gratitude practice, in that you remember the good in each day (or, in this case, each month) despite everything else that’s going on. You’re not necessarily losing sight of the bad or trying not to be unrealistic. But if we focused on the negative all of the time, it would make life a little unbearable, I think.

      I know, right?! 😀 The cover photographs alone fill me with childlike joy whenever I see them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Synchronicity: My 2017 Writer’s Digest Conference Story | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  6. Pingback: The Creativity Corner: Summer 2017 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  7. Sounds like you’ve had a brilliant August, Sara. Not only because of the concert and the conference, but also because you’ve managed to tick off some of the points on your to-do list. I think it’s always important, and one of the things to help fighting anxiety whenever it rears its ugly head. Speaking of which, I hope it’s all gone now and you’re feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Reflections on 2017, and What Matters More than Having the “Best Year Ever” | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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