I know that I have been absent this month, even after promising to post more, but life happens. I hate that excuse, but I was quite overwhelmed and needed to take a break. I plan on being back to posting now. Anyways, here was this measly month, in review, for me.
My Life this Month
- FINALS. Ugh, but I did well on them. Unfortunately, I actually have a difficult midterm assignment that I was given two days before Christmas and it is due New Year’s Day. Guess what I only sort of started? Yeah, that midterm.
- December was a big swimming month for me (as are January and February is just crazy for swimming.) I had a big meet on 19th, and I dropped time in my 100 Breast, so now I am 0.3 seconds away from the high school state cut which is really exciting for me.
- I was accepted into two of the colleges that I applied to (I haven’t heard from the other two, yet), and I am busy with scholarship applications now.
- I may have fractured my nose. How? I was not paying attention and ran my face into a wall the day after Christmas. How heroic.
- Christmas happened. (A late Merry Christmas to you all!) I had a lot of fun giving presents this year, and Jill Williamson was so kind as to sign one of her novels for my little sister! It was so much fun watching her face when my little sister opened the cover. I also got a lot of books for Christmas (and two gift cards to book stores): The Fall of Arthur (translated by J. R. R. Tolkien), Beowulf (also translated by Tolkien), Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, and a miniature book with poems and quotes about Tolkien.
In Celebration of Christmas, here is my favorite Christmas poem by Longfellow. You will recognize it, but read it all the way. 🙂 Since this post is getting way too long, I have linked to it instead of posting it here.
Books I Read
Books! Yay! I got to read this month!
I made progress on The Wheel of Time series by reading The Shadow Rising (book 4) and The Fires of Heaven (book 5). These are huge books (hence, why I have only read 6 books this months, and I consider it more than normal), and I enjoy them. The fantasy world building is so different from Tolkien that it really intrigues me, and I love the characters. One of the main characters, Moraine, is a very well developed, female INTJ, and this makes me very happy. However, some of the content is a bit weird, and I can’t decide if the author was some extremely crazy feminist who thinks that women should oppress men or if he was trying to make a point about feminism. The Fires of Heaven had several extremely inappropriate scenes, so I am not sure if I am going to continue this series, and I cannot really recommend it to anyone.
I read Hannah Heath’s Skies of Dripping Gold which was very good and did not end how I expected. It is a Christian, Young Adult Dystopian, but hopefully, I will review it on my blog, so I am not going to do into detail here.
Jill Williamson published a novella called Darkness Reigns as a prequel to one of my favorite YA series. It was fantastic. Even though it is technically Christian fiction, Mrs. Williamson addresses some really hard issues in a fantasy world based on ancient Hebrew and Middle Eastern culture (concubines, sexual immorality, idolatry, sorcery, human sacrifice, etc.). For that reason, I would not recommend it to anyone much younger than 15. This is especially since (as the title suggests) darkness truly reigns in this novel (unlike her other novels where you instantly knew the Christian hope and morality, this novel has only hinted at God, though I fully expect to see God working in these cultures in the following novels; this one set up the wickedness first.)
I also read Tolkien (incomplete) translation of the medieval poem, “The Fall of Arthur.” It was alliterative poetry so there was no rhyming. I am not as familiar with this type of poetry, but I enjoyed it very much. Here is a taste for you: “Sun shone on swords. Silver-pointed / the spears sparkled as they sprang upwards, / white as a wheatfield. Wheeling above them / the crows were crying with cold voices.”
I also read The Art of War which is very interesting, and I enjoyed it. I think it will really help my fantasy writing (since I have to write wars and battles), and it also will help my world domination plans. But it is also fun to think about. It certainly is not everyone’s type of book, but I enjoyed it.
I am wrapping up the last edits on my first novel, Out of the Curse/Remember the Crossroads/Child of the Curse, and I tossed around a bunch of titles for it. I still am not sure that “Out of the Curse” is the right choice, but I am tired of looking for titles. I am hopefully going to start querying again with the New Year and continue working on my second novel. I also revised my query letter.
On My Blog
- Open Pen did another Plethora of Posts, and I will link to it as soon as I actually post the all the links
- We did an Open Pen Critique, too!
- And I posted Ideas for Twisting the Chosen One Cliché just before the month expired (So I can say that I did post one writing tip!)
That is pitiful. Sorry. But I did finish redoing my blog design early this month. (We are going to celebrate small success in this post).
Also I have offically been blogging a year, and it has turned out way better than I have ever expected! You guys are fantastic and so supportive and are what make this enjoyable! If you want to check out the end of the year statistics for my blog, WordPress has this cool page that you can check out here.
Awesome Posts that I found
- How to Write Multiple Antagonists: This is has some really great tips and is extremely helpful for me with my four villains (Anarr, Ra’ Hazak, Nakavar, and the-secret-one-that-I-can’t-tell-you-about.)
- Are You Worried that Readers Won’t like Your Character? So some of my characters are jerks (Raewas and Fedor), but I want them to be cool jerks! This is a really great tip about how to make that happen.
- 11 Tips for Building a Successful Writing Platform: I honestly have no idea what I am doing when it comes to a writing platform and building an audience, so this was really helpful for me!
- On Choices: This was an extremely interesting post for writers who are trying to decide what to do about college. I think that he missed one factor; however, he brought up a bunch of good points.
Plans for Next Month
On the blog, I will finally start on the other MBTI posts that I have been promising. I have actually started on some the post already. I think the first post will be about ISTJs, and then I am not sure which one I will do next. For my own writing, I hope to start querying again (as I mentioned before.) But next month is a bit crazy for swimming, so we will see what actually happens. And school will start again.
How did your writing go this month? Did you have a good Christmas?