~Well, Hello all!~
It’s spring now (yay!!!)…except that it’s not…? It’s still freezing and might as well be winter. I’m still cuddling up with hot water bottles and wearing five layers. Fun. Welcome to Australia, 😀
So, what did I get up to in July/August?
I participated in Camp NaNo and got 25,000 words further into my rewrite of The Blade of The Dragon, and then I lost all steam. I just don’t know where this is going, I really don’t and it has me so confused. What am I trying to say in this story? What am I trying to do? I don’t know. I’ve taken a break from it for now to work out whether to plough on or to give up.
However, I got a whole 30,000 word novella written in August! I love this story so much, I really do. I poured my whole heart and soul into it and I feel like it’s really raw and just…me? I guess. I identify with my protagonist so much and I love her to pieces. You’ve probably heard me ranting about it on here. It’s called Rose Mask and it’s a Beauty and The Beast/The Phantom of the Opera retelling, and in my
unbiased opinion, it is simply beautiful. Let me give you a quick blurb:
The hideous one is not the Beast…
And the one behind the mask is not the Phantom…
Benito, a young sheriff’s assistant, falls in love with the odd, bookish Signorina Emilia as soon as he hears her voice from the upstairs window. He immediately begins planning to make her his own.
But attending a masquerade ball, Benito meets a mysterious woman who hides behind a rose-red mask. Who is this woman? What happened to her? And is she who she seems to be?
They live in a world where the unknown is feared…
I think that blurb is kind of cringe-worthy, but I did my best. (Also, if you don’t happen to know the plots of the Beauty and the Beast and the Phantom of the Opera, let me now enlighten you. Beauty and the Beast is about a deformed Frenchman who longs for a beautiful girl to fall in love with him. The Phantom of the Opera is about a deformed Frenchman who longs for a beautiful girl to fall in love with him).
I also participated in the Scribbler Challenge hosted by May! That was heaps of fun and shout out to my critique partner, Aris, who was simply amazing!! I also wrote a short story which nearly broke my heart. I might tell you more about it at a later date, but at the moment I want to keep it under wraps because I’ve entered it in a competition and just don’t feel right talking about it (does that make sense, I don’t know?).
That’s pretty much everything I did in regard to writing! (Oh, wait! I’m also beginning to plan my NaNo novel for November. *cue excitement and terror!*)
I think I only read nine books in July, because I was super busy with Camp NaNo, so that was a bit disappointing. I’m not entirely sure how many I read in August, but it was more than nine. Here a few highlights from my reading list:
The Ancient Machine by Justyn Walker. Five stars. This is the second in a series, the first being called The Magician’s Daughter. They are amazing books and I suggest you read them at once. The only problem is that I believe they are self-published (I’m not sure about that though) and they aren’t very well-known or widely available. Still, they’re super good.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I did a review on this book which you can read HERE.
War and Grace by Don Stephens. Another awesome book! I’d definitely recommend it if you want to learn about Christians during the two world wars, the roles they played and the way their faith helped them through those difficult years. It was really enjoyable non-fiction.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. May I just say that Sanderson is now one of my favourite authors? Steelheart was such a cool book. It had an X-Men vibe, but as a novel and that’s just awesome. Five stars.
Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease. Cool book set in Elizabethan England. It has given me a hungering to write a Shakespeare inspired story.
Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan. This was on my Winter TBR and it was enjoyable, but not the greatest. I honestly didn’t know what to think of Alex Fierro and all that stuff.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Inhuman by Jeff Loveness. A comic book, not really a highlight in itself, but worth noting because it’s the first comic I’ve ever read (actually, I think I read a graphic novel once, but we’ll ignore that for now). It was…boring, I’m sorry to all the diehard comic fans. Luckily, it was a quick read.
The Narrow Road by Brother Andrew. I felt cheated by this one, because it was really just God’s Smuggler (which I’ve already read–and loved too) with a few questions posing dilemmas, like: “Would you choose to follow Jesus, even if you’re family threatened to disown you?” and similar things. So, yeah, a bit disappointing. Still, I loved the chance to read God’s Smuggler.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Another of my Winter TBR reads. I loved it! Though I didn’t really like Scarlet, or Wolf, or Thorne…so, I was really just reading it for more of Cinder. The whole story was really good though and I’ve started Cress (and my word, I love Cress’ character!).
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson. The sequel to Steelheart and every bit as good!!
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine. An interesting take on Snow White. I reckon this book should be adapted to a musical, cause wouldn’t that just be amazing? Do I have a seconder? It would be so pretty and there’s all that singing.
Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott. Super dark and serious (no laugh out loud bits at all) but that made the light shine all the brighter, in my opinion. For such a short book, it took me a really long time to get through it, but hey, it was Japanese fantasy + fairy tale retelling, two of my favourite things! It was good, I recommend it. Just don’t expect anything light and fluffy.
Flight of the Evening Star by Justyn Walker. The last of the trilogy I mentioned earlier. I read all three to my younger siblings and they all loved it. Have I mentioned that I love it too?
Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. I’ve been wanting to read a Jodi Picoult book for ages because I’ve heard she’s really good. This fell flat for me though. It was stilted and just…no…I didn’t like it. I might give another of her books a go though, My Sister’s Keeper, maybe.
I got a few of my Winter TBR read too, which was good. Scarlet, Heartless, The Hammer of Thor, Within These Walls, and The Soprano’s Last Song, all got read, but Pride and Prejudice, The War of the Worlds, The Women of Baker Street, The Valley of Fear, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles didn’t. I did start the Affair at Styles, but I didn’t finish it. I really struggle with Agatha Christie, which seems odd because she seems like the perfect read for me?
I also beta read a novel, which was so hard. I learnt a lot though.
And I’ve been reading Les Miserables! I’m not finished yet–not by a longshot–but so far it’s been amazing! It is such a heavy read though, it’s really full-on. Anyone who’s read it will know what I’m talking about.
Listening to Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. Both pretty cool musicals! I’m also looking forward to seeing the movie version of Les Mis, though I’m pretty sure it won’t be anything as good as either the book or musical (I’m also sceptical of Hugh Jackman’s singing abilities. Who knew that Eddie Redmayne was such an amazing singer though? I really like his voice.)
Freezing to death in the (often) minus temperatures. Fun.
I also saw the new Spider-Man movie with a really good friend of mine! You can read the review I wrote for it HERE.
Uniting with my sister over the amazingness of musicals. I have her addicted to and completely obsessed with PotO, but she’s not sold on Les Mis yet, unfortunately.
I went to an open day at a bible college to check out a bridge year program they run. A lovely lady I know offered to take me and my friend up to have a look. It looks amazing and I’m seriously considering it as an option for 2020, when I leave school. We also got some time to explore Sydney, especially Cabramatta, a suburb which has a high population of people from Asian cultures. We visited an Asian grocery store, which was pretty cool and I tried lychee juice, which was really sweet, but nice and refreshing.
My church’s new youth group started up in July, so that was awesome. So far, we have as many leaders as youth most weeks, but it’s been nice. Over the last two or so weeks, I’ve come to really enjoy it. It’s broken down so many barriers, not only in my life, but in others too. I wasn’t keen on being in a new youth group at first, but thankfully God has given me a love for this new place.
I got my own laptop too!! It’s the first computer that’s been mine, and I’m so excited. I love it dearly (perhaps too much. But surely other people think their computers have personalities?). It even has a name: Greta. Not sure why, but I got it the day after I watched Spider-Man, and I decided that it needed a name that was just as good as Karen.
I think that’s about it! Thanks for reading. (To make us feel better about the lack of spring in spring, a pretty flower pic that my brother took)
~Good Day All!~
How was your August? Are you into musicals? Any suggestions for me once I’ve emotionally recovered from Les Mis (who am I kidding, is it even possible to recover from Les Mis?)