I’m not gonna lie – I was SO excited when Victoria Grace Howell nominated me for this blog tag (thank you, Tori!) that this was my reaction.
OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration… But music is one of my many loves in life, along with writing, books, and tea. So if you’re a music fan as well, fair warning: This post features YouTube videos. It also features links to more YouTube videos. I tried not to go overboard… but you still might be here a while. 😉
First, like any blog tag, let’s start with…
Does anyone else think the past two months have flown by? They have on my end. Life offline was especially busy in mid / late September, so all I remember of August now was that it was quiet and calm. (Unless I’m missing something! *lol*) This also means that while I’ve found time to write blog posts lately, it’s been a challenge to stay on top of comments or friends’ blogs. Hopefully this is only temporary, and I apologize for any delays in responding or returning the favor.
So, what are some of the fun events and “little things” that have brought me joy recently? I’ll share them below the jump. And as always, I love hearing what you’ve been up to and what’s been making you happy as well. So feel free to share that in your comments. 🙂
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!
I’ve been thinking about compassion lately. It’s impossible not to, with everything that’s going on in our world. Terrorist attacks, increased racial tensions, insensitivity toward other minority groups, and the most vitriolic U.S. presidential election I can remember (notice the timing of this post, fellow Americans?)… From a social perspective, 2016 has been a bleak year, and I’m deeply worried about where we as a society are heading.
But let’s not discuss politics. Instead, let’s focus on a topic that I think many of us will agree on: the power of compassion in literature. By compassion, I mean moments when characters show kindness, mercy, and similar qualities. These actions can draw us closer to those characters, move us to tears, and make those stories all the more memorable. And during these turbulent times in our world, finding – and writing – stories that demonstrate compassion may be more important than ever.
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! 😉
Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!
You know what I realized while finishing this post? Next month is July, when writers and bloggers celebrate the year’s halfway point by looking past on their 2016 reads and achievements so far. I’m not ready for that yet! :S
Mind-boggles aside, I managed to read five books during May. Out of those five, I’m reviewing four, including two brand-new YA fantasies, an eerie children’s classic about the Fey / Fair Folk, and a novella collection set in one of the most popular fantasy worlds at the moment. Which one was my Read of the Month? Let’s find out!
By the way, I’m still taking votes and suggestions for next month’s blogoversary! Click here to check out the poll and share your feedback before Thursday, June 16th.
On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives us an opportunity to talk about other subjects that aren’t normally discussed here at the blog.
AHHHHH! 19 more days until Game of Thrones is back! Is anyone else counting down, too? 😀
I’ve been a fan of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books for a while, so it’s been incredible watching his “shades of gray” characters and the gritty, chaotic world they live in come to life on TV. And while Game of Thrones has deviated from its source material at times, it has still been a faithful adaptation in spirit. But this season, we’ve reached the point where the show will pass the material that GRRM has written so far. In other words, everyone – including those of us who have read the books – is in for 10 Sunday nights worth of shocking twists.
So, what am I looking forward to most for Season 6 of GoT? It was tough to narrow it down to only a few things – because there’s a TON I’m excited about. So, if there’s a storyline you want to talk about that’s not discussed in this post, feel free to do so in your comments. Otherwise, let’s catch up with the first official trailer for Season 6 after the jump.
WARNING: This post contains spoilers from both the Game of Thrones TV show and George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books. Also, some of the videos and links provided below may not be suitable for young readers.
Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.
Today’s Stacking The Shelves post should be called “Overstuffing The Shelves.” Because when you have gift cards to Barnes & Noble and find books on your scribbled “immediate-must-have” wishlist and then spot other novels you’d learned about from the blogosphere, you realize how dangerous your love of reading can be. (*blushes*) But really, we must have ALL the pretty, shiny books, right?
Also, if you’re the kind who salivates over fantasy and science fiction, this post is for you. 😉
Finally getting around to the first of a slew of tags and awards I was recently nominated for. This one came from fellow fantasy writer Angela B. Chrysler. Thanks Angela, and sorry it took me so long!
Making this list was a fun exercise! It made me realize that I look for three kinds of screen characters: those I can relate to, those I admire, and those who jangle my funny bone until I can’t breathe. Also, even though I had an easier time coming up with my 11 favorite literary heroines than the same number of literary heroes, most of the characters on this list are male. (*raises an eyebrow*)
Anyway, let’s go in alphabetical order, starting with…
After compiling a list of my favorite literary heroines back in March, it’s only fair to devote a post to their male counterparts. Except that, well, I forgot about it for a while, until Sarah J. Higbee recently shared her own list. Thank you for the reminder, Sarah!
Featuring the same number of heroes here as I did with heroines proved tough. It’s not that I don’t like or admire male protagonists. I just happen to be drawn more to stories with female leads. But once I took a close look at my bookshelves, the eleven male characters I eventually picked started jumping out at me. (Not literally, but you know what I mean.) And I’ll admit, some of them won’t surprise you at all. 😉
Here they are, in alphabetical order: Continue reading