June // featuring assorted memories

June was kind of a strange month. I had a lot of plans, but some of them didn’t happen due to unforeseen illness – almost all month. And some of us still have it… So basically, we’ve hardly gone anywhere for three weeks. *sighs*

I had a bunch of spare time at home until I got sick, so I was extremely productive for two weeks or so, and then I didn’t quite feel like it. Luckily I’m feeling better now, and hopefully back to my normal, productive self. You should see my to-do-list for today. I ran out of room. 😉

Anyway, I’m not in the mood to do an ordinary recap today and they take forever to do, and Camp Nano started today, so… I’m just going to write down some of the good things that happened this month. *nods*

~ trying to learn a new English Country Dance with four girls ages ten and under and people painting our house and staring at us – yup that was fun~

~starting bullet journaling~

~more dancing with friends~

~watching about a million zillion bullet journaling videos~

~reading and writing practically nothing~

~plotting/outlining for camp nano~

~fun with the youth group (until we got sick and couldn’t do anything)~
~being pushed down the driveway in an old cart made with skate wheels~

~running outside in the middle of a rainstorm just because we could and coming in cold and soaking wet~

 

Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got. This month blogging may be a bit sporadic due to Camp Nano (!!!) (I’m panicking here!!), so please bear with me. Hopefully I’ll be posting some Nano updates throughout the month, and also I have at least one post prewritten in case of emergency. 😉 Also, I’m really hoping to just enjoy the remainder of summer while it’s still here.

 

What did you do this month? Have you ever tried English Country Dancing? How about bullet journaling? How’s your summer going?

May // Recap

Life

How do I even start?

Well…

I did the #walk30days challenge for the first time ever. It was really fun and here are some photos I took. Warning: major photo bomb ahead.

Summer break began! Solid Rock ended.

We went to Colonial Williamsburg for my birthday and it was amazing. We left late Saturday night (or Sunday morning? It was 12 am), got there Sunday and came home on Wednesday. I was going to put some photos in this post, but there were so many pictures and so many stories I want to tell, so it’ll have to be a separate post.

Our youth pastor and his family moved to Pennsylvania to pastor a church, so we helped them pack. I will miss them so much!

Some of my friends graduated and I realized that that will be me in just three short years. It’s weird. The older I get, the faster time goes.

It was my dad’s birthday and I made a really yummy einkorn buttercake with fresh strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

I tried to get pictures for the featured image of this post and it was so hard. A particular dog (I’m not naming names but you know who) decided she did not want to wear the hat I put on her head.

 << finally

Our baby chicks aren’t really babies anymore. They’re practically teenagers and they’re getting SO BIG, probably double almost the size they were in this picture taken earlier in May. I need to take some more pictures of them to show how giant they are now.

The summer reading program at our library started. Reading books to get free things? Count me in.

Reading

*a typical conversation with myself at the library*

Me: there are books and I really want to check some out

Also me: but you have a pile of library books and another pile of to-be-read books at home that you need to read

Me: but look at the books

Me: *grabs books*

Also me: oh well

    

    

Favorites:

  • The Reluctant Godfather, by Allison Tebo. I will actually be participating in Allison’s blog tour this month and I’m super excited about that! 4.5 stars.
  • Return to Harmony, by Janette Oke. You can see my full review here. 4.5 stars.
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Shannon and Dean Hale. I was really hoping this one would be good, since I’ve been disappointed by Shannon Hale, and luckily it was! It was really cute and funny and I liked it a lot more than I expected to. There were some things I didn’t love about it, but you can’t have everything… 4 stars.

Currently reading: Give Me Liberty, The Shadow Throne

Writing

Ummm… I’ve been writing stuff. Probably. Satisfied?

No?

Okay then.

I worked a little on Project Supernova. I can’t tell you how much because honestly I don’t even know. But, here’s a snippet!

I rubbed my arms and legs, trying to soothe away the aching of my muscles and my heart.

Crack. The snap of a twig brought me to my feet in a defensive stance. “Who’s there?”

A gangly, dark-skinned girl held her hands up. She wasn’t older than fifteen. “It’s okay.”

“Who are you?” I said, staring at her. Moonlight shone on her solid face. She wasn’t beautiful, or even particularly pretty, but she had the kind of eyes, reminiscent of shards of green glass, that you wanted to look at again and again.

Also, I wrote one piece of flash fiction and started on another one. For me, flash fiction is a fun and quick way to get rid of plot bunnies. (Although Project Supernova started out as a short story/flash fiction thing… but that’s a tale for another day.)

Listening

Actually I’ve been really enjoying listening to soundtracks of thunderstorms lately. It’s kind of a neutral background music, not to mention I love storms.

Loving

I have been putting my hair up with small claw clips. It usually takes five or six to get my hair up. The ones I like best are similar in shape to these, but the brand is Revlon. We got them from Walmart.

Blogging

April // Recap

Beautiful People // Parental Edition

Miniature Book Reviews // Cinderella, Animal Ark, and Return to Harmony

school is out // summer things

I’ve got lots of things planned this month, so stay tuned! Also, I just found out about a writing contest that looks really interesting. I can’t decide whether or not to write something for it, but you can find the details here.

 

How was your month? What are your plans for summer?

April // Recap

 

Life…

Various things that happened this month, not in any order because I am a scatterbrained person:

softball, softball, softball! (for my brother, not me ;D although I am Team Mom)

kept our friends’ cute kittens 🙂

I turned fifteen. Yikes…

got baby chicks!!! They are the most adorable things. We got six total and their names are Sally, Hazel Rose, Priscilla, Trixie, and Attila the Hen. In case you’re wondering about the sixth, her name was Hazel (the first) and she died on us unexpectedly. 🙁

Sally (above) and Hazel Rose (below)

finished school!!!! Mostly, at least… we have a bit of catchup to do.

had a piano recital. I was terrified. But at least I did all right, I think 😉 Here are a few photos taken beforehand.

helped our grandparents move. I took this weird picture in a mirror that was propped up against my dad’s truck. It looks like a portal to Narnia or something.

Easter was lovely. Made Resurrection cookies with my family and also two rabbit cakes. They were delicious.

When my grandparents were moving, they gave us a box of jewelry. Hope put on a bunch of gold necklaces and said she was Mr. T/B.A. Baracus! 😀

probably lots of other things happened that I’m forgetting. But I can’t write them down because I forgot.

Reading…

 

Wow-ee, I managed to read 21 books this month. Most of them were: A. books that needed to be returned to the library, B. books to be read for little sister, C. both.

Favorites:

The Lunar Chronicles, of course! ALL OF THEM! They were just so good and I need the fourth one immediately. By far my favorites.

I am happy and proud to say that today I finished my very last library book. (Probably?) We won’t be going for a while, because last time we had massive overdue fees. Whoops.

Writing…

Congratulations to everyone who won Camp NaNo!!!

I had an irresistible plot bunny back at the end of March. I usually don’t have a problem taking a short break from my WIP if it’s just a short story, and that’s what this little rabbit said it was.

LIAR.

I said last month I was almost done. Well… I’m not. My so-called “short story” morphed into a monstrous beast. It’s going to be a middle grade/young adult novel. Somewhere in there. I’m hoping to be done by the end of this month (ish). Its code name is Supernova. And that’s pretty much all I can say about it.

I just love these characters so much, y’all.

Listening…

I’ve practically had these songs on repeat while writing all month.

 Hero, by Family of the Year. if I had to pick a soundtrack to my WIP, this would be it.

I See Fire, by Ed Sheeran. This has practically nothing to do with my story but it gave me this really good feeling anyway? Oh well. My brain is not to be comprehended.

Anything by Lauren Daigle. She has such a great voice…

Anything by the Piano Guys. I just love their renditions of songs! So cool.

Blogging…

This month I:

said goodbye to march

ranted about what I thought about Emma Woodhouse in Dr. Suess form

posted some opening lines of my stories through the years

told my writing story

wrote some book reviews here and here

and totally missed my deadline on Saturday, but who’s counting?

 

Elsewhere:

Olivia at Important Nothings did the Blogger Book Tag!

Go Teen Writers had a great post about when you have “no time to write”.

Jonathan at Fishing for Ideas wrote a fantastic post about merging fiction with faith.

Hannah Heath posted some thought-provoking ideas about mentor characters.

Abbiee wrote an extremely relatable post about ridiculous things we ponder as writers.

Kate at Once Upon an Ordinary had some great tips on beta-reading.

Loving…

These hairsticks. I have thick, heavy hair that comes a bit past my hips, and hairsticks are my favorite way to put it up. I have other hairsticks but these are my favorites right now. They’re smooth and comfortable, sliding easily into my hair. Not to mention the fact that they’re pretty. 😉 I’m thinking about buying another set – maybe these or these.

Eos lip balm. I didn’t think I’d like the round shape, but I love it! It’s super moisturizing and I use it all the time. I got the sweet mint scent.

This Month…

I’m planning to:

work on Project Supernova (I’m not setting a word count goal because I don’t really keep track of my word count anyway). I’m not sure I’ll finish but it sure would be nice if I did.

do #walk30days! I was inspired by Nadine Brandes to do this challenge. The rules are: take a walk every day. Take a picture every day. Post the picture every day. I walked this morning with Gracie-dog and it was pretty fun. 🙂

write more blog posts, since we’re on summer break. I have an idea for a summer bucket list and that’ll probably be coming soon.

play the piano more for fun.

lots of other things that I had thought of and now I’ve forgotten. *smacks forehead…*

 

How was your April? Did you do Camp NaNo? How was Easter? I’d love to hear about your month in the comments!

 

Goodbye March // Monthly Recap

April is here and so is spring! It’s boiling, roasting, scalding, scorching hot outside right now. Which is why I’m quite glad I’m in the nice cool basement right now… (Mom said it wasn’t that hot, but it was pretty hot to me. I like air conditioning. It’s still too hot for April.)

March flew by (but when doesn’t it?). It was a pretty normal month of school, writing, etc.

 Highlights

  • One of our oldest chickens was killed by a hawk.
  • Our power went out briefly after a storm and we sat around the table and drank drinkable yogurt. (Was that redundant? Probably.)
  • Small group (with our church) started.
  • My brother turned thirteen!
  • We visited the Story Shop and it was so beautiful I almost cried. (Well, maybe not cried. But I felt quite exhilarated while I was handling these lovely classics.)
  • St. Patricks Day came and we ate lots and lots of corned beef. Yay!
  • Went on a field trip to Fort Yargo.
  • Aaaand I rearranged my entire bookshelf. Again. It looks quite lovely, please and thank you very much…
  • Went to Stone Mountain to see their new dinosaur exhibit. Half the time I was looking at their dating (this one lived millions and millions of years ago!) and rolling my eyes.
  • Drum roll… WE ONLY HAVE TWO MORE WEEKS OF SCHOOL LEFT!!! Hoorah! I am quite ready for a long, long, long summer vacation and I plan to get lots and lots of things done. (Department of Redundancy, Dpt.

Camp NaNoWriMo started today! I will not be participating because April is crazy… I am kind of hoping to participate in the July one, though. Not formally. Just for fun.

Bookish Things

I read ten books this month – not quite as many as last month but I’m perfectly satisfied!  My Goodreads says I read more, but that was just because I forgot to log a couple of library books until they were due… *whoops*

  

Favorite: Either Son (you can find my review here) or The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. Son was emotionally gripping, but The Hero’s Guide was hilarious! I’ve already recommended it to my brother.

Least Favorite: Oh… well… Gathering Blue, Messenger, How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied, and the Rising Star of Rusty Nail! Seriously, though… Probably HTOACWYSAU (How To Outrun A Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied. It’s such a ridiculously long name).

Currently reading: Emma, by Jane Austen, and Pie, by Sarah Weeks.

Writing

Well-uh. I probably wrote something this month. I know I wrote a few blog posts… In all honesty, I started a new short story that I’m super excited about. I went through a period of writing it where I literally wanted to do nothing but write. (Go away.) I was also completely fangirling over my own character. Is that normal?

And I’m almost done with it!!!! *Squeals and hides in a corner.* But don’t, you know, expect to see it… EVER…

Although you might be surprised. I am a sneaky writing ninja and maybe I’ll get the nerve to post some of my writing someday.

NOT TODAY. SORRY NOT SORRY.

Blogging

I only wrote three blog posts this month. Oh well…

Also, I’m now going to try to release a new post every Saturday, because I am a very scatterbrained person and I forget when and what I posted. So I’m going to proclaim Friday “Blog-Writing Day” and Saturday “Blog-Releasing Day”! I know, I’m strange…

Weird Random Fact:

Colonial Williamsburg is having a dance tonight at seven and another at eight thirty and I just really want to live there and reenact FOREVER because dancing plus historical costumes equals amazing.(That was a really long run-on sentence…) But I’m not even remotely close to Virginia… and certainly not close enough to run up there every Saturday to dance with them! Oh well…

 Is anyone doing Camp NaNo? What have you all been doing lately? Leave anything and everything in the comments!

And also, I was not paid by Colonial Williamsburg to endorse them… Sorry for my fangirling, y’all!

-Zane

 

 

 

February Recap

Hi guys! I’m doing my first monthly wrap-up post, and hopefully this will continue each month. And look, I’m only three days late!

 GENERAL

These aren’t exactly in order. I couldn’t even remember everything that happened this month, so I looked back at my pictures. My memory… 😀

  • Everything was a little crazy, as usual. School. Church. Normal stuff.
  • We had our Homeschool Valentine’s Party! Organized by Mom.
  • Went to the Chik-Fil-A Daddy Daughter Date Night. It was really nice.
  • Field trip to Old Salem.
  • Went ice skating with friends.
  • The softball season started! (We haven’t had any games, just practices. And Justus is playing, not me. Thank goodness.)
  • I know I’m leaving something out, so I’m just going to write here, “Everything else that I forgot.”
  • And… this happened this month, actually today, but I’m going to put it in anyway. We have chickens, as you probably know if you’ve seen my Instagram page, and never lost any of them to predators – until today. R2-D2, one of the first chickens we got, was killed by a hawk. Something scared it off, so we were able to bury her. (I know, I know. The name makes her sound like a boy.) A bit later I was walking out to check on them – and the hawk was sitting in our chicken pen! For a minute I thought it was our other hen, Leia, but then I realized it was too small to be her. I began running and scared it off, then made sure Leia was all right. Needless to say we have netting all over the pen now. Poor R2. She was a good hen. (Even if she was mean sometimes.)

READING

It’s funny how many books I read this month without even trying. I didn’t even feel like I read a lot this month, but I read 23 books! (Most of them were kids books! I like kids books best!) So here they are.

Trixie Belden and the Mysterious Code. This one was okay. Not fantastic. Not horrible. Just okay. Three stars.

Trixie Belden and the Black Jacket Mystery. Yes. Just yes. I loved this book, and I loved a certain character that was introduced in it! Definitely my favorite post-Julie-Campbell book. Four and a half stars.

 

Danger in the Harbor. This is the sixth book in a series of historical fiction books for young readers. It was fairly good, although there are a few typos. Unfortunately, I think it’s out of print (hence the missing image and link.). Four stars.

What People Wore When. Ehhh. Could’ve done without it. Two stars.

Swordbird. I was very impressed by the fact that the author was only twelve when this was published, but it was very cliché and felt like a bird version of Redwall. I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn’t my favorite. I think with more editing it would have been much better. Two and a half stars.

Mindwar. This was an interesting concept, but it’s really not my favorite kind of book. So, it was okay, just not right up my alley. Three and a half to four stars.

Gifted. Oh my. This book was so awful. The writing style was awkward and clunky. The main character was arrogant and prideful, and I hated him from the moment I read the first few pages. Ugh. Not recommended in any way, shape, or form. A waste of time. One star. Or less. Yick.

Women in Science. This book was trying really hard to be cute, but it wasn’t my favorite. The way it was printed made it hard to read, and since every two pages is a biography of someone, it’s a lot of information in a very small space. For me it was an overload. Not to mention the people with blue, green, purple, and red noses. That was just strange. It’s also very feministic in some places. (Did I really not see that coming? I mean, Women in Science?) One and a half stars.

Some Writer! See my full review of it here. Four and a half stars!

Trixie Belden and the Happy Valley Mystery. This was okay, but it was missing something. Or someone! View my review/rant here on Goodreads. (Spoilers ahead.) I was a little disappointed with this one. Three and a half stars.

 Social Graces. This was quite amusing, especially the parts telling about where it’s appropriate to talk. (I’m afraid I’ve violated a good deal of these rules.) The best part may have been when I got to read the section on what men should wear to formal affairs to my brother. Ha. I’m not sure how to rate this seriously.

The Dragonology Handbook. Ehhh. It was occasionally amusing but on the whole rather dull. The illustrations are nice, though. Two and a half stars.

Freedom Walkers. We read this for school. It was the story of the Civil Rights Movement told engagingly and entertainingly for younger readers. I definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to know more about this time period.

Miles to Go For Freedom. Another school read. This one is very similar to Freedom Walkers, but it was much harder to get into. Definitely not my favorite.  Three stars.

Jane Eyre. I read this for the first time and loved it! I would only recommend it to mature readers because there are some scary/intense scenes. Four and a half stars.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. I have such mixed feelings about this book! The writing was so good. The main character was relatable. I loved most of it. But… The Ending!!! Oh dear… Three and a half to four stars.

Falling In. No. Just no. The writer kept interrupting herself by interjecting unnecessary things in unnecessary places. And it was very, very annoying. Also – the accents!! It’s a good example of a writer trying to write an accent – and failing. Accents Gone Wrong 101. Maybe it was just me… Two and a half stars.

 The American Dream: the 50s. Research for a story I’m writing. Four stars.

Trixie Belden and the Marshland Mystery. See my full review on Goodreads (potential spoilers ahead). I really enjoyed it, but it was still missing something. Four stars.

Team Moon. A book for school. Pretty good, but I didn’t love the format. It was just too big. Three and a half stars.

Spying and the Cold War. More research. It was okay for younger readers, but it didn’t have enough information for what I was writing about. Three stars.

The Storybook of Legends. See my full review here. But… ugh. One and a half stars.

Trixie Belden and the Mystery at Bob-White Cave. This one was pretty good, although I didn’t like the superstitious belief of the Ozark people in ghouls. (SPOILER: there were none. Luckily for this faint-hearted reader.) Four stars.

Currently reading:

  • Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Blinking Eye
  • Children of the Storm: the Autobiography of Natasha Vins (for school)
  • Evolution: the Grand Experiment (for school)
  • The Unusual Suspects
  • Disney Trivia From the Vault

WRITING

It was a pretty good month for writing, I suppose. I usually don’t keep track of my word count, but I wrote two or three pieces of flash fiction, which I’m currently addicted to, and worked some more on one of my WIPs. (Flash fiction = a story told in less than 1,000 words. WIP = work in progress.

It was also a good month for blogging. I wrote:

I also changed the theme a few times. I just can’t seem to make up my mind!

 How was everyone else’s month? If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!