Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer Highlight Reel '17 // Whereupon I Return from the Dead

Wowza. In the time since I ran away in June my life went into warp speed and completely exploded in the loveliest and most awesome ways. Summer is nearly over and the boring things of the fall season such as going back to work and school will be upon us shortly. However, there are so many exciting things to come in the next few months and I'm really looking forward to them all. However, today's post is a highlight reel/wrap-up/trip-down-memory-lane of summertime! Allow me a moment to reminisce...



LIFE EVENTS

In July...

  • Started off the month with celebrations of Canada's 150th year on July 1st. My hometown typically has a parade, barn dance event, and fireworks in the evening that are all impressive for the hamlet-size my town is. Unfortunately, I missed the parade due to still being at staff camp but was able to make both the dance and fireworks. Both of which were great as per usual. 
Waiting for fireworks
  • The following day was a birthday date out in the Rockies near Abraham Lake with Jonathan, whose birthday was two days prior and mine was to be the following day. We both turned twenty this year and had a great time out in the beautiful Albertan backyard. 
  • Then it was my 20th birthday, I had some friends out to the lake for a swim as is tradition and then went back to my house for cake. Seeing the 2 and 0 on my cake was slightly frightening and a little sad, but there was excitement in it too. I am probably the world's youngest looking twenty-year old but that's okay, I'm beginning to come to terms with my ancient age.

  • As camp weeks went on and off throughout the month, my sister and I came home after a week of work one evening to find a new puppy at home - to our great delight. A border collie female we eventually named Jess who is super cute and funny and not all that bright but adorable nonetheless. I haven't seen her in weeks now and I imagine she's gotten giant. 

  • One of my best friends, Kenzie, returned from her year long mission trip to Cameroon, Africa in the midst of the crazy July, and that was awesome. I had missed her so much while she was gone and it was so great to have her home for the celebrations, thrills and new experiences the summer had to offer. She was dearly missed!
  • My dear friend and once camp counselor, Sarah, married her husband Jesse in July and I got to be there to enjoy the event. I thought her wedding was so beautiful and the location was amazing. I could gush about it forever. 
All of the camp people who attended their wedding!
  • Jonathan and I went with his parents to the city to shop for camping supplies and furniture and let me say, mine and Jonathan's first trip as almost-married-adults to IKEA together went just about exactly how you'd expect. 
  • Nearing the end of the month my family hosted the third annual Princess Party where homeschooling families and friends from the area get dressed up in their best medieval attire and go gallavanting about for the afternoon. Us older girls always take the horses out for a ride in our dresses and of course did that again this year. We also made a trip into town to watch the new Spiderman movie which was EPIC. 
  • Jonathan and I began renting our first house together and moved stuff in and later moved ourselves in as well. It's a three story townhouse that's actually pretty darn nice for a college student and writer to have hoped to accomadate and I'm quite liking it. 
It is slightly nicer looking now...
  • I participated in a jumping clinic at my barn with a green jumper prospect named Link who thought that it was his job to get over every jump AS FAST AS POSSIBLE so that was an interesting time. It was a good experience though, and I learned a ton. 
  • I was at camp pretty much the entire month, working one week as a counselor and the rest as a wrangler in charge of the younger junior staff. This was a summer of learning and growth and my camp experiences were all so much more uplifting than usual. In past years I have had periods of crippling depression hit hard in the camp summer, but this was the first year where this did not happen. An act of God I guess? It was a great summer though, so so many cool highlights and new adventures with such good friends.

In August...
  • There was MORE camp in August, one time in this month Jonathan and I were thrown into the ice cold pool as a wedding gift. There were lots of other fun times like that, all adding up to make it a great summer. 
  • Between the last two camps I had my bachelorette party which was basically two days of swimming and frolicking with my friends. Probably among the biggest of summer highlights. At one point while we were at the lake, Elise drug out a large fallen tree and we all began climbing up on it and jumping off. Doing flips and dives and all sorts of things, it was super fun.
  • My lovely Australian family came out for the wedding, including my best cousin Rebecca, whose beautiful voice opened our wedding ceremony a week after her arrival. I really enjoyed a week of catching up with her and sharing the Spiderman series with her. We got through them all (and I only sort of fell asleep from exhaustion in parts)!
  • The day before the wedding was the decorating, rehearsal and sleepover at camp for the bridal party (since the ceremony took place at mine and Jonathan's summer camp). That was an absolute blast, despite the bit of stress that had begun to settle in for me. I had so much fun eating great food, trying to organize some of the least organized people in the Northern Hemisphere, playing handball, watching Tim Hawkins videos and reading Song of Songs in the cabin with the girls late into the night. It was a great last day of singlehood.

  • And then it was our wedding! Wow. I know it sounds cheesy, but it was definitely the best day of my life. I can't describe how it feels to be surrounded by all the people who love and support you as you step into an incredible new adventure with the love of your life and your best friend. It was a day of total bliss and I felt so at peace about it, there was practically zero stress through the entire day and that was such a blessing. I don't have any of my official photos yet, but the ones friends and family took have their own charm and beauty. It was an amazing day.
  • Ever since that day I have been road-tripping through the country with Jonathan. From Waterton, Alberta, to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to Seattle, Washington, to Vancouver, BC, to Kelowna, BC and home again. It's been a fantastic trip. Highlights include: hiking Crypt Lake, downtown Seattle (even if we were there with no map or GPS), cheesecake with friends on the beach in Vancouver, hanging out with family on Quadra Island, backpacking Juan de Fuca, and raiding all the Kelowna bookstores. It's been an incredible three weeks. I would not change it for the world.

WRITING LIFE

I don't really regret saying that I literally wrote nothing these two months. I was living life and had some amazing experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything, and that is more important to me. However, I am itching to get back to work and can't wait to continue my projects and share stuff with you guys once more. Faithless is next on the list for rewrites in preparation for beta-readers later this year, so stay tuned for that! Also have to decide on a NaNo project...

READING LIFE

I actually got some reading done!! :DD Part of my honeymoon was literally three days of lying out in the woods reading books and that was so so nice. 

BRAVE NEW WORLD//Aldous Huxley
Very thought-provoking, mildly disturbing, and highly engaging. This book reminded me a lot of 1984 by George Orwell in tone but the plot and characters are very different. Hugely recommended if you like adult dystopias and classics.










MARTIN HOSPITALITY//Abigayle Claire
A lovely book, warm and heartfelt and close to home, I thoroughly enjoyed Abigayle Claire's Christian contemporary novel. There were twists and turns that drew me in and loving moments between the characters. I love the portrayal of Gemma - not as an angsty, rebellious teen who won't allow anyone to come close to her, but as someone genuinely frightened and broken looking for love. I love her character arc, and how the romance is not love at first sight, but something that grows out of compassion and kindness. Great story for those who enjoy heart-warming tales about family, hospitality (hence the title), and love.



THE NAME OF THE WIND//Patrick Rothfuss
Jonathan encouraged me to start this series and I was not disappointed by his taste. Patrick Rothfuss weaves an intricate web of mystery, adventure, and bravado that all fantasy books should boast. 
What I enjoy and find unique about this series as opposed to many other fantasy books is:
a) That the author focuses on only one character, allowing him to really hone said character and write so descriptively and thoroughly about everything. 
b) The portrayal of female characters is varied and on the whole, interesting and unique.
c) That magic is portrayed as mostly a scientific venture. 

Some criticism is the portrayal of the main character Kvothe, who - since he is the singular main protagonist - suffers from a bit of Mary-Sue syndrome, simply because the author has limited himself to placing all the characteristics/abilities he wants to include into only one character. However, Kvothe is still completely likable as a character and the book is extremely well-written, humorous and interesting. Highly recommended.

SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 2 GOING SANE
Great graphic novel. Incredible artwork, writing and plot. The concept was super interesting and played out very well among the Suicide Squad cast of characters.










BLOGGING LIFE

Well, obviously nonexistent since, y'know, hiatus and all that. But never fear! I have returned with a bit of a blogging schedule and plans to continue my consistent posting that was happening before summer began. I promise! However, I did get up to 30 followers this summer, which is a super cool nice, satisfying, round number for me. XD

GOALS

Goals for July/August


  • Sell 50 copies of The Sorceress and the Squid // I have sold quite a few copies, probably not 50 unfortunately, but close. And I am proud of that. Now that I'm home I can try to get back into marketing again.
  • Read 2 books // This was totally completed (only on my honeymoon, lol) and I am proud of that. I'm hoping for more reading time once I settle into some sort of routine in my new environment. 

Goals for September


  • Start rewrites of Faithless // I'm hoping to have this up and ready for beta-readers in the next few months, so stay tuned for that. The book is a mess right now but I think that I can really make it great. I'm excited to get back to it. 
  • Read 2 books // My monthly goal til year's end. I think I can do this fairly easily. 
  • Blog consistently // Now that I'm home and back to regular life this shouldn't be hard. 
  • Pick a NaNo project // I'm trying to decide if I should finish the last 12 chapters of the first part of my second fantasy novel (The Wandering), or if I should finish The Snow Dragon. Do you have an opinion? Let me know!

  Well guys, that was, again, a crazy awesome summer. Definitely one of the best of my life. There are so so many great moments and memories caught up in it. And while I am sad to put it and so many other things behind me, I am super excited to look ahead to the coming year, particularly where writing is concerned. I have a lot of plans, guys! Yeah, yeah, I always have a lot of plans. :P We'll see which ones *actually* happen I guess. For now, I want to hear all about your summer! Did you have any cool adventures? Events? Trips? Campfire nights? Beach days? Tell me all about it! :DD

  Happy Almost Fall, Everyone!



9 comments:

  1. YAYY You are back :) WOW I really enjoyed reading about your summer ^.^ It looks like you had a blast <3 And you and Jonathan look so cute together, you guys are couple goals ;) I can't wait to see more wedding pictures soon...

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    1. Same. This might sound a bit off but I SHIP YOU TWO xD

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    2. Thank you! Haha, it was a great summer but I have definitely missed my writing and the writing community. I'm certainly looking forward to getting back to work! I have missed everyone!

      It's hilarious that you ship us, Lisa! XD

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  2. EMILY YOU ARE BACK!!! You've been missed. Looks like you have had an epic summer tho! Congrats and well wishes and all the prayers on being a newlywed! Love all the photos you have here! My summer was a mix of Nano + tennis + relatives from overseas + planning the move :)

    So happy to have you back from your hiatus but obviously it was one you shouldn't have missed for the world.

    *hugs*
    Lisa

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    1. Aw, it's so sweet to be missed. :DD The summer was totally 100% epic! And thank you so much! Being a newlywed is weird, but it's been pretty good so far. I like it. XD Ooh, tennis? Did you do a lot of that? Relatives from overseas are the best, we had a lot of those around for our wedding! Yes! Your move to Vancouver! Are you looking forward to it? If you're still there in 3 years Jonathan and I will have also moved there for his schooling, so maybe we could hang out?
      Thank you! I'm super happy to be back. :)

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    2. I had tennis about twice a week. I'm still pretty terrible at it but I enjoy it a lot!

      Okay that is seriously cool you are thinking of moving to Vancouver! we definitely hope to be there still in three years! I mean one of the reasons we are moving is because "the kids will have better job/study oportunities there" and if we leave what on earth happened to that :P we'll definitely meet up then if all goes accirding to plans :D

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    3. I've only tried it once - bet you are WAAAY better than me. XD

      We have to move there for Jonathan's school (unfortunately - because I hate the city, lol). But Vancouver is kinda cool. We'll only be there two years but it's totally plausible we'll get the chance to meet up! That would be awesome! :D When are you moving there again?

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  3. AHH welcome back :D I loved following your adventures through pictures ^.^ They all sounds completely epic and I'm not even an outdoorsy camping and swimming-in-inhabited-water sort of person <3

    I've done my part and ordered 2 of your books! Although I gifted them both, so I need a copy for me still xD I'll be sure to order it this year so you can reach that goal of selling 50!!

    Your tale of IKEA shopping is hilarious xD But OH MY GOSH your house is so freaking adorable!!! 3 story townhouse?! *swoons* Not bad at all ;)

    I'm so glad you got to read Martin Hospitality, AND that you enjoyed it! Like I said, I shall have the gorgeous final copy of Sorceress and the Squid before long ;)

    Hmm The Wakening ... is that the book you sent me to look over whenever I could that I ... never looked over? *ducks head* I FEEL REALLY REALLY BAD ABOUT THAT!! So if you can bring yourself to trust me again, I'll gladly be your editor for any of your projects xD

    As I said, welcome back! I'm so glad you had fun, but you've been missed! Can't wait to see where your writing projects are headed :)

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    1. Haha, thank youuu! I'm happy to be back, though I'm definitely a bit sad that summer is over. And I have some moving out blues, but that's okay. Once I get settled in it will be better. Swimming in inhabited water? XD

      Thank you so much for spreading my book around! That's awesome! I definitely enjoyed reading yours! It was one that I read in Coeur d'Alene in the woods under a tree.

      Ah, thanksss!! Even though I don't like living in town I do really like my house, even if it's a mess and our stuff is kinda all over the place. So. Much. Organizing.

      The Awakening was the book I sent you, the one I'm working on is called The Wandering, which is the sequel. No worries about not touching it. XD It's kind of a disaster that needs to be cleaned up probably. Someday...when I'm retired and old and have a ton of time. :P I will definitely trust you again, I can't say I haven't totally done the same thing a dozen times! I'm hoping to have a story (Faithless) ready for beta-reading later this year. Fingers crossed!

      Thanks so much! I'm glad to dive back into this great community once more. ^_^

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