Oh, look, Blog. There you are! Still alive after all this time? Amazing that the old interweb connection's still pumping away.
Well, dear Blog, let me tell you. 2017 has been a long year. I was not prepared for this year when it began, and I don't think my brain's processing all that's happened in just 365 days. Somehow, it felt twice as long as normal and half the time it took to see 2016 slip away.
What's kept me so busy? Oh, you know, college mostly. I just completed my second-to-last-ever semester, and the last-one-EVER is looming right around the corner. I've made good friends this year, studied a lot... and yes, used school as an excuse to ignore you, faithful Blog. Once graduation rolls around, I'm really hoping to spend some more time with you. I think you deserve it after almost 4 years of neglect.
~ READING ~
I did manage to get a bit of reading in this year, though. Only about 32 books, but again, that will change once graduation. Let me share some of my favorites, or some highlights, whichever you prefer, dear Blog.
Five Enchanted Roses -- The Beauty and the Beast collection that inspired The Rose and the Balloon. Ah, yes, I finally got around to reading it. I should write a review of it, but I'm torn. First collection ever that I didn't read all of the stories. My favorites were Stone Curse and The Wulver's Rose, hands down. But I couldn't bring myself to read Wither... for the sole reason that I've been inflicted with numerous nightmares involving zombies.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library -- This was such a fun book! Basically, the whole library turns into an escape/break-out room, and it's puzzles, and riddles, and tons of fun to get out! As a librarian, I muchly enjoyed the numerous references to Dewey.
The Pickwick Papers -- So far, Dicken's most hilarious novel. In the words of Mr. Brown, "I defy you not to roar."
Mere Christianity -- First time reading this classic from C.S. Lewis. I loved his writing with Narnia, but his nonfiction is all so excellent! His arguments are easy to follow and a joy to read. I really want to get my hands on the rest of his works like this. The only other ones I've read so far besides MC are The Screwtape Letters and The Problem of Pain.
Exiles -- BEST BOOK OF 2017. PERIOD. And did I mention it came out on my birthday?
King's Warrior -- I've had a couple of Jenelle Leanne Schmidt's books in my kindle for a while now, but I finally got around to reading them. This series is (albeit wordy) but pretty good. I've not read the third book yet, Yorien's Hand, but I'm excited to see where the story goes.
Larklight -- I came across this little steampunk trilogy by Philip Reeve at the library and figured since I'm writing more steampunk-ish stories, I should read more steampunk-ish stories. Easy reads, but so funny! If you need a good steampunk guffaw one rainy afternoon, definitely put these on your list.
Emma -- And dear Emma. This was a re-read for me, but it never gets old. If Lizzy or Elinor don't glare at me, this is my favorite Austen.
~ WRITING ~
Oh, yes, and I did some writing. I worked a bit on The Dragon Tamer as well as The Twelfth Kingdom and Spindle Dreams. I'm almost done with that last one. With any luck, I can finish it within the month or so, and begin the journey again soon to self-publishing. After all, The Rose and the Balloon has stood without its companion novella for some time. Spindle Dreams wants to be let loose. And who am I, dear Bloggy, to stand in its way?
I also began, finished, edited, and submitted my very first and very last ever story for a Rooglewood contest. This year was Snow White, and what began as Snow and Copper, a tale that was meant to focus on copper mining and the dwarves/miners, turned quickly into What the Mirror Said, a tale in which (you guessed it) the mirror became the most important character. I'm not sure how the story will stand in the contest, but I am sufficiently happy for FINALLY entering one of the contests. My husband was such a great help; he encouraged me daily to get it finished and even went the extra mile to help me get the form mailed. After starting a story for each one of the contests, it was such a pleasure to finally get one done and sent in.
Now, don't hate me, dearest Blog, but I'm afraid I have not been the most faithful of friends. At the command of a teacher, I was forced to begin another blog for a writing class. Not only is it not you, Blog, but it's hosted on Wordpress. And now I'm hopelessly torn between blogger and wordpress and which blogs to keep updated. Ah, yes, of course, I won't abandon you, best and dearest of Blogs, but here's the link to the new one should you wish to check it out.
~ LIFE ~
Probably one of the biggest changes 2017 brought was the new last name. I did tell you I got married, Blog, so don't give me that look. After 15 months of dating my best friend (and some odd months/years before then getting around to it), he proposed and we have been living happily ever after ever since. Who knew marriage could be so much fun?
And then I should probably also tell you, Blog... I will be busy with my new little family here so things can't completely go back to the way they were. I will do my best to be here more often, but when there's a little girl kicking the inside of your ribs, you know she's gonna be a handful after she's born.
See ya later, Blog!