Monday, May 2, 2016

My April Highlights

  I was right about one of my predictions for this month. It was crazier than last. In all the best ways of course. Traditionally in my life April has been the catalyst of the "busier months" of the year but this year it kind of has just been flowing along at the same sort of speed as the other months. There's kind of no line anymore between busy and not busy. It's all busy. :P I guess that's part of growing up, one that was uncomfortable for awhile but I'm starting to kind of rely on a little bit. Without something to do in my day I get a little bit stir-crazy now, whereas I was once able to just sit and do nothing for hours and be totally content. I can still be good at that, just not so much as before.

  In any case, some of my monthly highlights are below for those who care to read about my April. It was a pretty good month...

(The best thing about April has to be the fact that, in Alberta, Canada at least, everything absolutely explodes from brown to green almost overnight. Also, it's been crazy warm. It was almost +30 degrees Celsius yesterday.)



LIFE IN GENERAL

///CHOIR. We had our last choir performances for the year (or so we thought). It looks like we'll be doing one more in June, which I'm glad about because I love singing for choir and we only got to do three performances this year. Sadness.\\\

///CAMP HORSES. My summer camp has a horse program which I am quite a large part of. Around this time of year the horse "careworkers", or "wranglers" as we call them, start working with the horses to get them ready for kids in the summer. We spend the day every Saturday through April, May and June working them to get them kid-proof and ready for young riders. So far we've only had one incident so we're doing pretty good with our string.\\\

One of our new horses this year, Prince.
///KAYAKING. I got to try this for the second-ever time, though this time I tried it properly. It's A LOT harder than it looks but pretty fun actually, I was surprised that I liked it. It's Jonathan's favorite sport and since he rides horses with me it seems only fair for me to try kayaking with him. He gave me some lessons in the local swimming pool so I could practice a bit before going on river maybe this summer.\\\

///COUSINS. It was my cousin, Hayley's, sweet sixteen this month so we went up into the city to visit her and her family and celebrate. Hayley, her older sister, Abby, myself and my sister, Rachel, are all quite close so we had a fun weekend of hanging out, playing the Bean Game and binge-watching "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt".

Us and our binge-watching. :P
///THE MANE EVENT. Basically, it's a horse comic-con, full of sessions with trainers, booths selling all manner of horsey products, and a lot of horses hanging around in general. I went for the day with Kyrianna and Trina, Jonathan's sisters and some of my good friends. We picked up a lot of good information watching the trainers work and saw a lot of EXPENSIVE horse stuff that we were lusting after...if only I was rich and not a poor writer. Alas. It was also Kyrianna's sixteenth birthday and we'd had a sleepover after our camp horse Saturday, where she had been bucked off by the little pony, Mickey, and then fell off my horse, Two Bits, while riding bareback. She was okay in both instances though. We all joke that she's managed to survive to sixteen. It was a good weekend.\\\

Some of my pics from the day.

///INDIE GOES TO SCHOOL. So one of my horses, a 21 year old Thoroughbred named Indie, is slightly unstable and not the best for riding. He's quite broke, but not at all quiet and very anxious. Thus, he went to school last Friday for some conditioning. And he's lucky because his stall neighbor is the hottest horse at the barn, my trainer's Friesian Sporthorse mare, Wren.\\\

So gorgeous.
///JUMPING. Along with the horsey theme weaving its way through this month, myself and Kyrianna also got a lot of jumping in at our riding lessons. The other Thursday we got to do a six-jump course and that was pretty awesome. I loved it.\\\

Kyrianna + Quazar top/me + Banderas bottom.
I did lots of other things this month and kept pretty busy, but these were some of my highlights. Be prepared for them to get longer and longer as the months go on. :P

WRITING THINGS  

  My writing this month was a little slower, but I got in at least 100 words per day this month of my WIP, Faithless. In my free time, which wasn't much as you may be able to tell from above, I managed to spin out some new chapters for a total of nine. I've decided I'd like to be finished about 30 or so (which I imagine to be the end of the story) by the end of June. So I need about 10 chapters per month for the next two months and I'll be good.

  I also got through the preliminary second draft edits of The Sorceress and the Squid, which I shared the first chapter of with you guys last month. Not sure if I'll share the second chapter or a piece of something else this month...we'll see. Keep you guys in suspense. ;) Now, I've got to get into some heavy editing for the third draft this month and hopefully have it all perfected by summertime. Fingers crossed!

  I wrote a poem as well, which you can view along with some of my other poetry here. I was on a bit of a poetry block until I got a great conversational prompt, so I was happy to break through that. And I started a short story too! I binged a couple thousand words in a day of it but haven't really touched it since, so I'll have to get on that and maybe it will be ready for next month's Writing Wednesday?

BLOGGING LIFE

  So I did quite a few posts this month, I think because I got tagged by other bloggers a couple times for various tagging games, that bumped my posts up a little. XD I also made my second Writing Wednesday post where I share pieces of my work with my followers and had a great guest post by the lovely Abigayle Ellison. She wrote about not hating the editing process and supplied a lot of good tips and I was very excited to see what she came up with. While I'm on the subject, if there is anyone out there who is interested in guest-posting or would like a guest-poster I am looking to do that where I can for this next month, so let me know!

  Current blogger stats...
  1891 pageviews
  4 followers
  34 posts

  Again, I'd love to grow all these numbers over the month of May and I'm looking forward to see just how that will go.

READING LIFE

  Well, I met and surpassed my measly, pathetic goal of one book this month. I set it at that incredibly and ridiculously reasonable level because of all the busyness ahead (see Life in General above). Between all my activities, working and writing I have no reading time anymore. But this month I managed to get 3 books read.

///THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum. I bought it at the dollar store when I was there with my grandparents the other month and have been meaning to read it. I finally did. Of course I've seen the movie and I heard the audiobook as well, but yeah, this book is weird. Very weird. It's not at all like the movie for those who don't know. Try reading the part about how the Tin Man becomes the Tin Man. Pretty...interesting stuff. :P\\\

///WILD GEESE by Martha Ostenso. This book though. I have never related to a book more than this. I was at the local Value Village thrift store a couple weekends ago and was looking through the bookshelf and chanced upon an old copy of this book and nearly lost my mind with excitement. Why, you may be asking? You've probably never heard of this book, right? Figured as much. I hadn't either until last spring when I had to write an essay on it for an English 30 exam. What makes it so important to me? Simply just how incredibly close it was to my own life. It was about a 17 year old girl named Judith, whose overbearing father holds her and her siblings and mother on their farm and keeps them slaves to the workload. Now, no, my dad is not quite that bad, but the struggles of Judith and her family are pretty relatable to me. I often feel like a slave to my farm workload, and to read about something so similar to my own life was a fresh and new experience for me. I loved it. Plus, it was just a great book in general. Highly recommended.\\\

///THE PURITY PRINCIPLE by Randy Alcorn. This was nonfiction and just some assigned reading for camp this summer. It was good and presents some great ideas about the importance of a person's purity and sexuality, though not really new ideas to me. It was short and sweet and I read it in an hour.\\\

MY GOALS

With May begins the farm seeding season, getting ready to, and planting the crops that will grow over summer and be harvested in the fall. So I know I will be busy, but hopefully I can make some of these goals, even better than I did in April, which was only so-so.

My April Goals

///PARTICIPATE IN GO TEEN WRITERS APRIL CHALLENGE. I can check this one off. I did at least 100 words in my WIP every day this month, which I was quite happy about. It was pretty hard to even spit out that many words at times.\\\

///POLISH UP ESSAY CONTEST ENTRY. I did this as well, and entered it. Unfortunately, I did not win the filly they were giving away at the Mane Event, but I did get to see her when I went. And that was nice too.\\\

///FINISH 2ND DRAFT OF THE SORCERESS AND THE SQUID. I definitely did this, about halfway through the month, and I was quite happy about it.\\\

///READ ONE BOOK. As stated above, I met that goal. Yay.\\\

///DOUBLE FOLLOWERS. This one I did not meet, though I gave it my best effort. I did gain one new follower, however, and that is good enough.\\\

///PLOTTING FOR MY SUMMER WIP. I did a little of this, not as much as I should have, but I still have two months til summertime. *nervous laughter*\\\

My May Goals

///WRITE AT LEAST 100 WORDS PER DAY. I want to do this again, but also, in addition, try to get at least 10 chapters of Faithless finished up too, so I can stay ahead of the game.\\\

///FINISH 3RD DRAFT OF THE SORCERESS AND THE SQUID. This one needs to happen to, so I can be all finished with it by summer.\\\

///FINISH SHORT STORY. As mentioned above, I started a short story this month and I'd like to finish it here in May so I can share it eventually.\\\

///POETRY AND ART PROJECTS. I *need* to do this more. My art life is DYING. Not even kidding.\\\

///BLOGGING. I want to do this better and expand my horizons with it. I hope to do some actual writing tip type posts this month, as well as maybe more guest-posting and adding new followers, however slowly it all happens is okay, so long as it does happen.\\\

  And there you have it, all the details of my month wrapped up in one blog post! Sorry it was so long and rambly, I'm bad for that.

  Be on the look out for my monthly Writing Wednesday post this week, and let me know if you are interested in the idea of guest-posting or having a guest-poster in any capacity. I'd be very interested.

  So how was your guys' months? Did you meet some of your writing goals? I know that Camp NaNo was happening for a lot of you, how did that go? Let me know in the comments below!

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