Saturday, November 28, 2015

Monthly Summary: November 2015

November is a busy month for me every year what with NaNoWriMo, Christmas shopping, Thanksgiving, going down to a friend's to see the Hunger Games movies, and anything other activities that come up. Though this year was a bit less crazy than last year (thanks to getting a lot of stuff done in advance), I'd still rank it in one of my busiest months of the year, but I had a lot of fun as well.

What I did:

1.) I won NaNoWriMo at 53,563 words and finished Subsapien Hybrid at 58,076! Even better I finished on the 18th of November! It's the fastest I've ever written a book before! I'm definitely going to be extending this baby, but I've got the clay to make the pot now. ^ ^ I've also read over the extended bits for Red Hood, so I've began editing. ^ ^

2.) Outside of writing I went to a DaVinci Exhibition, I traveled back to my hometown to visit a friend watch the Mockingjay Part 2, and of course I had Thanksgiving. The weather has finally gotten really cold for my area and we had our first freeze this week too!

DaVinci is one of my favorite historical figures. His genius is amazing and
how much he's impacted our modern lives just floors me. He had a fascinating with bats and that's how he design his wings.
He also painted some beautiful pieces. Lady with the Ermine is my favorite.
This is an invention he made to speed up the painting process, by having someone stand inside,
he could look through the peep hole and be able to draw them from any angle. It made painting faster for him, since painting was his day job. 
I saw the Mockingjay Part 2 twice! Once on my own and once with friends!
3.) I finished reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Me, Just Different by Stephanie Morrill! Reviews will be up in the near future!

I really enjoyed this book!
4.) I finished drawing Ingrid from my Subsapien series and I'm currently doing Caleb. I'm hoping to update with at least one of his pictures before the month is out!

Do you want to know more about Ingrid? Check out
her character interview and her Beautiful People!
5.) Over on Geeks Under Grace I've done a bunch of reviews this month, including Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - Episode 4: The Cain Killer, The Peanuts Movie, The Silver Lining - Episode 1: What is Decreed Must BeThe Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part II and The Silver Lining - Episode 2: Two Households!

The Geeky Department:

1.) I went to see the Mockingjay Part 2 and I cosplayed as Katniss Everdeen! I also won first place in the costume contest at the theater and won that Peeta stand-up next to me! I loved the movie so much. It was amazing! Such a great ending to the series. ^ ^

2.) I've started watching Lost and I enjoy it so far. The mystery is intriguing and I like going into each of the characters' backstories and seeing their origins. It's definitely a trippy show though. You're unsure what's real and what's not many a time.

My favorite character is Charlie.
3.) I've been wanting to play Portal for years and recently both of the games went on sale in a bundle for only $6 and I couldn't pass that up, so when I've gotten a spare half hour I've played a little bit of it. The puzzles challenge my mind and the creepy mystery of it is very cool too. The lab element is Subsapien inspiration. ;)

The cake is a lie.
4.) For some time I've wanted to catch up Good Mythical Morning and now I'm actively doing it again. I'm almost through season two! Rhett and Link make me laugh so much.

5.) I've also been catching up on RWBY and I'm enjoying the third season so far. The animation has improved greatly and the story is taking a darker turn. Check out my post about lessons from RWBY about writing!

I love Blake.
What I Learned:

1.) Scrivener in full screen mode really helps me concentrate. I don't usually turn off my internet because I war while writing, so a great way for my to concentrate only on writing is to put Scrivener in full screen mode. It eliminates distractions and puts me in a little writing sanctum. I love that I can personalize the background too.

2.) NaNo is so much better with a buddy. Last year I plodded along barely getting by. This year I sped through NaNo like a cheetah and finished twelve days early! All of this is because of my writing buddy. She's helped me writing so much. It's just been fantastic having her.

Me and my writing buddy Cassia @ Dimensions of My Universe
3.) At the DaVinci Exhibition, I learned so much about Leonardo DaVinci. I could spend an entire post about him, but I'll tell you a few facts. Many of his gear and ball bearing systems are used today in things we use today. In this old engine, he invented all of the mechanisms, but a spark plug. He also invented the parachute and was the first recorded person to perform an autopsy. He's also credited for inventing robots and the tank!

This Assassins Creed tank is actually real.
4.) I really enjoy making playlists for my books. As soon can see in my Soundtrack Sundays posts, I listen to a lot of soundtrack music. The way I arrange playlists for my own books in iTunes is I look through albums that fit the tone of my story (For Example: For Subsapien Hybrid, I used tracks from the Maze Runner, The Host, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and others). I put them all in one playlist then as I write I arrange them in order and decide which ones I keep. I've found it an effective method.

5.) So Jamie @ Through Two Blue Eyes posted about this sound effects site for table top gaming. It's perfect for writing. It also makes an amazing combination when you put it together with music. It can be super creepy.

What I'm Going to Do:

1.) Next month I'm planning on rewriting the extended parts of Red Hood. They need some work. With doing 50K so fast, 20K should be no problemo. I'm not sure if I'll get it all done in December, but I'll get as much done as I can and finish in January. I'm hoping to get the extended parts edited and put together before I go on a trip on the second week of February so by February 10th, so my betas can read it while I'm gone then I can send it off after I get back.

2.) Christmas is coming up so I will be enjoying that and many other parties and Christmas activities. A friend of mine is coming from out of town for New Years and I'm so psyched for that! I will also be testing for my next belt too! I hope I get it. It was one of my New Years Resolutions. And lastly ... JAMES DASHNER IS COMING TO MY AREA AND I'M GOING TO SEE HIM! I'M SO EXCITED!

3.) I'm going to finish Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore and Peril by Suzanne Hartmann. Then next month I'm going to start A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes, the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (I want to read it before seeing the movie), and I'm reading Curio by Evangeline Denmark for review! Christian steampunk! Yessss!

4.) I may not be able to complete my Expressions Challenge this year, but I'm going to make a valiant effort and try to finish at least one more drawing next month and the challenge can bleed into next year. I will finish it! I'm hoping to work on Caleb (if I haven't finished him yet), Ashlyn, and Rouyn next month.

Rouyn from Starbloods
5.) I also want to do even more reviews for Geeks Under Grace. I'm planning on doing more video game reviews and reviews of the Lord of the Rings and Studio Ghibli films!

Last Month on Stori Tori's Blog ...

This month's tunes:
Soundtrack Sundays: Lost in Las Vegas (Two Steps from Hell)
Soundtrack Sundays: Henry's Proposal (Once Upon at Time)
Soundtrack Sundays: Magneto (X-Men: First Class)
Soundtrack Sundays: Rage and Serenity (X-men: First Class)

This month's teas:
Tea Tuesday: Simon Tam
Tea Tuesday: Patched
Tea Tuesday: Katniss
Tea Tuesday: Peeta

This month's words: 

Writing Stuff:
Questions for Nox!
How Can Characters be Powerful If They're Not Real?
Beautiful Books:The Writing Process - Subsapien: Hybrid
A Book Review of Failstate: Nemesis by John W. Otte
Writing Lessons from Movies: The Hunger Games

Other Stuff:
The Sweater Weather Tag & Liebster Award 2015

Coming Soon to Stori Tori's Blog ...

Tea Tuesdays: I'm continuing reviewing the Hunger Games blends!

December 4 - I will be posting a call for questions for ... me! I'll be having a Q & A. You can ask me whatever you like whether it be writing advice or about me or my books. The Q & A will go up December 18!

December 5 - Extending Your Novel (may revise with catchier title) - As suggested by Sara Letourneau in this post, I'll be talking about ways to extend your novel without adding irrelevant or needless material.

December 11 - Beautiful Books - The last link-up of the three month series!

December 12 - A Book Review of the Judgment Stone by Robert Liparulo & Heir to Darkness by Jill Williamson - This month I'll be posting two book reviews since I'm part of the promotional group for  Jill's new series!

December 19 - Writing Lessons from Sherlock - A post where I will be talking what BBC Sherlock can teach us about writing.

December 23 - January 8th - Hiatus - Due to the holidays, I'm going to take a two weekish break from blogging to rejuvenate myself for the coming year. I will be back on January 9th! But ...

December 31 - Monthly Summer: End of Year Edition - I will be back briefly with a special monthly summary post where I'll be talking about this year as a whole, Christmas, and New Years resolutions. I'll be having a giveaway and a survey and announcing a special blog project starting next year! Don't miss out!

Elsewhere ...

1.) Emily over at the Incandescent Life talks about some great productivity hacks!

2.) Sara Letourneau talks about the Comfort Zone in character arcs over on her blog! There's Aragorn ... Lots and lots of Aragorn.

3.) Alison at Alice and Alison's Wonderland Recipes shared a divine recipe for an Amity Autumn Apple Salad inspired by Divergent. I recently tried it and it's ... so .... good ...

4.) Cassia at Dimensions of My Universe shares some helpful items that are required for NaNoWriMo!

5.) Sunny wrote a post about reaching out to people outside of your blog. I admit. This was tough for me at first.

And last but not least this awesome contest is going on that you can win a trip to castle to write in for NaNo! For every person I refer from this link, I get three more entries plus the person gets a chance to win as well. ^ ^

This is always a nostalgic time of year for me as I reflect on this year and past ones. It's a reverent time mixed with sadness and joy. I can't believe it's so close to the end of the year! It's been a pretty good one and I'm excited for the next one.

How was your month? What did you do? Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming posts? How was your Thanksgiving? What are you doing for Christmas? Did you win NaNoWriMo? Did you see the Mockingjay Part 2? Any mythical beasts out there?
If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)

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