Monthly Wrap-Up

Farewell to August

August’s Writing

August has had a lot of worldbuilding and development for The Dark War Trilogy. I’ve designed flags, royal seals, a brand for traitors, I’ve created all the advisors I think I’ll need for royal councils, I’ve come up with a new way to timeline that’s working really well for my overlapping storylines, and I’ve finished several character profiles, among other things.

I’ve also written a short story, which you can read here, and gotten my blog on track to be posting regularly.

Also, I finished my third draft of House of Mages on the 26th, which I’m super excited about because it means come the sixth I can send it off to my editor and get it polished up. ^-^

August’s Reading

I’ve done some reading this month. I finished First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks and The Collective by R.S. Williams (see my review of that here), and I’m in the middle of several (read: fourteen) more books. I won’t list them all, since there are a lot, but so far they’re all really good. I’m particularly enjoying Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Hobbit by Tolkien, and North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson.

August’s Blogging

A list of the posts I’ve published this month:

Character Development

The Dust Thief – Short Story Sunday

I’m Publishing A Book Soon(ish)

My Writing Role Models

Character Interview: Roran Brance

Through A Character’s Eyes

An Interview With Me

My Bullet Journal

Sea Glass & Pressed Flowers – Short Story Sunday

My Writing Process

My Experience With Collaboration

Character Interview: Nissa Quail

Idea Organization

This Is His Story – Short Story Sunday

Writer’s Block: How To Deal With It

Guest Character Interview: Taya Pars

Book of the Month Review: The Collective by R.S. Williams

Farewell to July

Hey guess what! This makes three monthly wrap-up posts in a row! Hooray!

July’s Writing

July was Camp NaNoWriMo, as most if not all of you know, and my project was to finish The Heart of the Baenor. I did not accomplish that goal, unfortunately, but I still made my 20k goal and even upped it to 40k and won that. I started the Dark War Trilogy, against my better judgement, and I’m really loving it so far. I adore the characters, as with many of my stories.

In addition, I started a dystopian story that I’m keeping on a back burner as something to work on when I’m really stuck with something else, and I began a collaboration story with my best friend set in Wonderland, which we’re both really excited about. The basic premise is that key Wonderland characters are dying, and the eight MCs have to take their places, which begins with a quest for relics for each of them. It’s really fun.

July’s Reading

I’ve read a lot this month. I finally managed to get to my library, which resulted in a stack of books to read, and I’ve finished all but one of those.

The first thing I finished was High Druid’s Blade by Terry Brooks, which is the first in his latest trilogy, I believe. He may have started another one since. It was really good, and I gave it four stars on Goodreads.

After that was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, which was excellent. Five stars for that one.

Next was Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Ann without an E! D:), which got three stars. It seemed a bit too much like Maze Runner for my taste and finished on a sufficiently tied-up ending, so I don’t plan on reading the next one.

I also read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, which was pretty good. Four stars.

Before Red Queen, actually, was The Giver by Lois Lowry. I absolutely fell in love with that one. It’s one of few books that made me feel. I nearly cried near the end, and that’s something that happens even less than feeling in general at books.

I also read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, which I technically finished in August, but most of it was read in July, so I’m listing it here anyway. I’ve been trying to get a hold of this one for a long time so I could read it, and I was finally able to get it from my library. It’s usually checked out the times I go to the library. :P I really liked this one, too, and gave it five stars. There were a few things I could have done without – sporadic language, some suggestive dialogue, gore that went a bit farther in-depth than it needed to – but overall it was really good. There was a love triangle, but it was well-handled and I could tolerate it, even though the MC gravitates toward the wrong one, in my opinion.

If you’d like to see reviews of any of these books, let me know and I’d be happy to write them. :)

Farewell to June

Hey! Two recap posts on time in a row! Progress! Let’s get started, shall we?

June’s Writing

I actually haven’t done a ton of writing this month. I worked on several chapters of House of Mages’ third draft, and then got really irritated at it and decided to set it aside until after July’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

Those of you who have read a lot of my blog have probably heard of The Half-Elves. Well I decided one evening to just write something random with them, and I got a two-page short story out of it, in which they actually acted like themselves. I actually posted it, come to think of it. You can find it here.

And I’ve also started plans on a new trilogy, which I talked about in my last post.

June’s Reading

I haven’t read much this month, either. I did read Heartless by Marissa Meyer, however, and I highly recommend it. It was sooooo good! It was heartwrenching at the end (no pun intended), but it was so good. I’d warn you not to get attached to anyone, but that’s an impossible feat, so I won’t suggest trying it.

I’ve also been reading The Collective by R.S. Williams, since I won it in a giveaway (which surprised me, since I don’t tend to win things). I plan on reviewing it once I’m done.

And, if this counts, I read a story that a friend of mine wrote when he was about eight, which had me rolling on the floor laughing, particularly when coupled with the sarcastic comments that he and friends of his had left on almost every other line. My favorite quote from that story was definitely, “Drink this, you great big flashlight!”

Other Fun Stuff

My choir got to sing at Wolftrap with Celtic Woman on June 20th! It was a spectacular experience, although to be entirely honest the excitement seemed to be on a fifteen-hour lag. I didn’t freak out until about ten the next morning, lol. But it was really, really cool to hang out with the choir and meet Celtic Woman and sing in front of thousands of people and just… it was amazing. (Dude, I performed on a stage that Lindsey Stirling has performed on! *squeals*) I called the late excitement “post-concert euphoria.” (I’m a fan of The Space Between Us, so I had to make a reference to it, even if no one got it.) Just being on the bus with the choir is a great experience, because we sing the entire way, randomly bursting into VeggieTales or Disney or Phantom of the Opera or three-year-old choir songs. It’s great, and there’s never a very long lag in the music, because someone will always get us started again on something new. I adore my choir. ^-^

On top of that, one of my fellow choir members and I talked about writing several times this month, which is really cool because I don’t have very many writing friends I’ve met in person.

And in a similar vein, I’ve realized I have a couple of really great friends that aren’t just online friends. (My online friends are still fabulous, by the way.) I’ve often bemoaned my lack of “real life” friends, so it’s really cool to realize I actually have more than I noticed.

I’ve also had a song written about me now. *checks that off bucket list* One of the above mentioned friends wrote a song about each me and another friend, which was cool. ^-^

So overall it’s been a pretty spectacular month. How have you guys been this month?

Farewell to April and May

I am so, so bad at doing these regularly. *facepalms* Oh well.

April’s Writing

I ended up writing 40k on The Heart of the Baenor for Camp Nano, instead of my goal of 60k. And that makes a three-time losing streak for Camp Nano. Hooray. I wrote 54k during Camp, though. The last week was spent hopping between random stories because I fell into an awful writing slump. :P

April’s Reading

I didn’t do a ton of reading in April, actually. I read about half of First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and I read part of The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler, but that’s it.

May’s Writing

Well, April’s writing slump decided to continue into May, so the beginning of this month was entirely nonconstructive. I wrote a tiny bit on a new story of mine (like I really need another one, right?) and progressed tHotB about 500 words. Woopdeedoo.

I did, however, start the next draft of House of Mages. I’m working on getting the money for an editor, also. (If you’d like to help out, I started a GoFundMe page for it.)

I also started on the first book of my series The Daughters of the Hylands, which I’ve been planning for years and just haven’t been able to get working. This is my third try, and I think this one will actually turn out okay. Here’s hoping.

May’s Reading

I continued April’s reading, as well as reading The Curse of the Spider King, the first book in the Berinfell Prophecies by Wayne Thomas Batson, and starting on Timebound by Rysa Walker. Both are very good, and Curse of the Spider King may have bumped Dreamtreaders down on my top five list.

 

Goodbye March (Massively Late)

Well, it’s halfway through April and I haven’t written a March overview yet. Sounds like me. Well, better late than never, right?

March’s Reading

The first book I finished in March was Spindle, which I had started all the way back in January or February. It wasn’t my absolute favorite, but it was pretty good.

I also finished The Last of the Mohicans, which I hesitate to add since it was a book I read for school (and it’s also mega, mega boring), but I read it, so it’s on here anyway.

March’s Writing

Rebellion Ever After was my main project in March. My aim was to get it to 60k before April, but that didn’t happen. I got to 40k, though, which is good.

I also wrote a short story in March to go with it, and that was a lot of fun. It follows one of the MC’s dreams as she’s asleep in her stasis chamber, and she’s the only one there except a SRV-droid, so there’s a lot of description and not as much dialogue as I usually write.

April’s Writing

Since it’s halfway through April already, I’ve already gotten some writing done. Namely I’ve written 32k in my Camp Nanowrimo novel, The Heart of the Baenor. This story is really interesting to write because I’m specifically working toward putting in more description and internal dialogue since those are things I tend to struggle with in my writing. The description part is made easier by the fact that HotB takes place in Kaloris, which I’ve fleshed out considerably more than some of my other storyworlds. The well-developed world also helps with character development and so forth.

Other Fun Stuff

I’ve been working on editing my book House of Mages, as you know from January’s wrap-up/February’s welcome, and working toward getting it ready for publishing. Well, I got a cover on March 22nd and I’m sooooo happy with it! It’s perfect! And it was a premade one, so it didn’t cost as much. I got it at The Book Cover Designer.

Now I’m looking toward getting an editor for when I finish my third draft, which I haven’t even started yet because I haven’t finished my second draft. I really need to do that.

Anywho, who wants to see my beautimous cover?

Tadaaaaaa! Oh yeah, and I finally settled on a pen name: R. M. Archer, as you can see above. ^-^ I’m so happy about all of this! It’s amazing! I could be published before the year is out! *squee!* Yeah, I’m happy. ^-^ And in honor of this momentous occasion, how about an excerpt from House of Mages? Just a short one.

**************************

They walked through the tunnels for several minutes before emerging on the surface. But it wasn’t anything like an earthly surface. The ground was black, the sky was stone-like with stalactites hanging from it, and the whole atmosphere was penetratingly dark.

The castle that loomed in front of them was especially dark. Whatever material it was made of seemed to absorb what meager light there was, and the towers were like cold stone claws that would reach down and crush or impale her at any moment. The gates were bent outward like ribs, and the small dank breeze seemed to make them shift like there really was a beating heart behind them.

Lian shuddered.

“Do we have to go in there?”

“Of course. That is the Conqueror’s castle.”

Asphodel led the way up to the gate and Lian followed, trying to seem more courageous than she felt.

As they passed through the gates and walked up to the front door, Lian tried to quiet her rapidly beating heart. It felt like a caged animal trying to break free, making her feel like her chest would explode.

She survived the walk to the front door however, despite almost running into Asphodel when the demoness stopped suddenly to pull the bell rope. Its gong was eerie and melancholic almost causing Lian to shiver again.

The door slid open soundlessly and the two of them entered, passing through several corridors. The only sound was that of Asphodel’s heels clicking on the odd black floor.

******************************

This is one of my favorite parts of House of Mages. There’s actually description! Anyway, I hope you liked it. :)

This post has gotten kind of long, so I’m gonna go now. See ya!

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