Saturday, April 30, 2016

Monthly Summary: April 2016

Well, this month went a lot differently than I expected. I was really hoping it would be better than March, but ... well ... something really bad happened. There's a been a lot of highlights and a lot of struggles.

What I did:

1.) I finally finished editing Red Hood. Now I'm working on the proposal. I meant to get it done this month, but well life hit hard (see below). I should win Camp NaNo tonight with Silver Hood. I'm not sure if that will mean the end of this book, but if it doesn't, I'll finish shortly afterwards. I'm hoping within a week. I also wanted to get that done this month, but I repeat: life hit hard.

But ... my issue of Splickety Havok Magazine that I'm published in is out! Yays! I'm so happy about that. ^ ^ That's one of the ups I've been talking about. If you'd like to purchase it you can purchase a digital copy on Amazon or a digital or hardcopy or both in a bundle on MagCloud.

2.) Much like last month, April start pretty fine, I had a fun birthday and then I had a great job interview. Then I got into a car accident and everything went haywire from there. I didn't get hurt badly (besides being extremely sore for a week), I lost my really good car I would have had for three years next month, so I've been a ball of stress trying to find another car while also struggling to write, edit, attend a wedding, and figure out how the heck I'm going to get to this new job. I had fun seeing family and having friends visit, but I'm just not doing well with this latter half of the month. I'm hoping this will all get resolved, but this stress is killing me. Unfun adulting. It's just always something lately for me. 

My brother and I at the wedding. Seeing my siblings was a highlight.
3.) Because of the above circumstances, I didn't quite finish reading Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson and Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams, but I should finish them in the next week. I like them so far.

4.) I finally drew my character Dina from my steampunk fantasy series Red Hood! She's such a sweetie.

5.) I have reviews of Kings Quest: Rubble Without a Cause, the Jungle Book, The Huntsman: Winter's War up on Geeks Under Grace! My first article for Geekdom House called the Heart of a Girl on Fire is up!

The Geeky Department:

1.) I'm finally on season 9 of GMM! So close to being caught up on my two favorite YouTube comedians. 

2.) I'm caught up on RWBY! So many feels in this season. My gosh. I'm also caught up with Doctor Who and the Muppets. Working on catching up on my other shows lol. 

Nathan Fillion + the Muppets = SQUEEEE
3.) I saw the Jungle Book and loved it. Best version of that story ever.

4.) I'm playing the newest King's Quest game for review. It's been my stress reliever lately. 

5.) My new cosplay is slowly coming along. I'm hoping progress will go faster in May.

What I Learned:

1.) When Polishing Up Your Manuscript Check For Weasel Words - One thing one must definitely check before considering your manuscript done are weasel words. This are repetitive, vague, and often unnecessary words that can clutter up your manuscript. You can find a complete list of them in this post on Go Teen Writers. I found over 300 usages of the word "some" in my manuscript and I cut down too thirds of them. Other problem words were "now," "much," "thing," and "few."

2.) Converted Buildings Are Cool - On my birthday, my friend took me to downtown Atlanta where we went to several places that were buildings converted into other things such as an apartment complex and a meat factory made into strip malls. The designers still kept bits of the old designs, but I thought it was a really neat idea for a setting to convert buildings into other things.

Apartments made into a mall.

3.) Sparklers + Fire Place = Dangerous Fun - So I had some friends over for the weekend after my birthday and I decided to finally use some old sparklers I had stored up. Since they were old they'd started to fall apart and they weren't fun to just light regularly. We also had a fire going in the little outside fireplace I have, so I came up with the idea to throw some sparklers in there and see what happend. Welp, I should have shut the grate. The sparklers exploded and one whizzed past my friend's head. She and her sister screamed, I was elated at the display. We did it again with the rest of the sparklers with the grate closed and it worked much better.

4.) I like Rambutan - While on a trip to Hmart, I decided to try rambutan. They're yummy little suckers. They actually taste like a mix between coconuts and grape. Weird but true.

5.) Car Accidents Suck - I don't know how many of you have ever been into an accident, but it's not fun. Perhaps some of you can use this for book research. It happens really fast. You don't remember much of what happened. Even if you aren't hurt severely you're still sore for days. It took me a week to feel normal and even now I'm still dealing with painful bruising. I have a six inch long two inch wide bruise on my forearm from blocking the airbag (Kung Fu reflexes for the win) that swelled up pretty bad. It's still there and the accident happened a week and a half ago. In consequence of protecting my face from the airbag, I made the airbag gut shot me and I couldn't breathe briefly. 

I also got bruising from my seatbelt across my chest and burns from it scraping on my direct skin (It wasn't a good day to wear a tank top). The seatbelt and the airbag are safety features, but they will hurt you. My back was also sore for a week so much so I couldn't walk for too long without pain that required me to take pain meds and put a heating pad on my lower back to get relief. So if you have a character getting out of a car accident totally fine, that's not normal. They're going to feel it for a while. 

I also had trouble sleeping after it happened. I felt vulnerable to the point I got scared of being alone, and I'm still dealing with the fear of driving. I even had panic attack which also aren't fun. You can't breathe and your vision tunnels. Car accidents are traumatic experiences.

What I'm Going to Do:

1.) If I don't finish Silver Hood this weekend, I'm going to finish that. I'm also going to finish my proposal and send it off with my book. *crosses fingers* Then I'm going to begin edits on Subsapien Biomech which will probably take a few months. I'm not rushing it like I did last year. My plan is to read the whole book through and take notes then fix any inconsistencies then start line editing. I'm hoping to get this ready to begin sending off chapters to my betas as I go by .... Mid to late June.

2.) Next month I will be starting a new job. Right now I have two new job possibilities. I'm just going to have to see which one I get. I'm also looking for a new car which is so stressful. Then at the end of the month I'll be going to MegaCon for some much-needed unadulterated fun. 

3.) I'll be reading Hollow City, the second book of the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series, by Ransom Riggs,  The Hive by John W. Otte, and the Raising Dragons Graphic Novel by Bryan Davis.

4.) I'm hoping to finish Rouyn's expressions this month then work on Claes. ^ ^

5.) I have another Geekdom House article coming out and plus I'll be doing more reviews for Geeks Under Grace particularly for Captain America: Civil War and X-Men Apocalypse.

Last Month on Stori Tori's Blog ...

This month's Writerly Bundles: 

This month's books:

This month's writing tips:

My stories stuff:

Other stuff:

Coming Soon to Stori Tori's Blog ...

Because I'm going to MegaCon at the end of next month, my schedule is going to be a little weird this go around. Depending also on job situation, I may have to cut down my number of posts too. May will be a trial month.

May 1 - Writerly Bundle #13 - An Amy Pond-themed post featuring a review of Super Ginger tea!

May 3 - A Book Review of Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams - Because of life I couldn't get my review of this book up, but now I finally am!

May 6 - Questions for Caleb (Subsapien)! - A call for questions for my cutie character Caleb Heagen! 

May 7 - 7 Ways to Help You Get Back Into Reading - I've been seeing people all over the interwebs who struggle with reading slumps. This post is for you guys.

May 8 - Writerly Bundle #14 - A Merlin-Themed post featuring the review of Chai & Mighty tea!

May 10 - A Book Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer - I really enjoyed this sci-fi retelling of Cinderella and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you!

May 13 - Beautiful People or A Book's Genesis - I don't know if BP is going to be AWOL again this month, but if it is I'm going to do Daniela Ark's A Book's Genesis link-up. If Beautiful People does come back I'm going to do the link-up instead of a tag at the end of the month. We shall see. 

May 14 -  So Your Character is From England or Scotland ... - The next edition of this popular series is coming! This month will feature Emily Lobb @ Ink, Inc., Mawa Mahima @ The Controversy, and Maria @ Purple Dragon Writing. Join us for a great discussion on how to write a British or Scottish characters!

May 15 - Writerly Bundle #15 - Where I review Ginger Moringa tea geeky style.

May 17 -  A Book Review of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson - A book review of a neat twist on superpowered beings. I haven't finished it yet, but I like it so far.

May 20 - Interview with Caleb (Subapien) 2!  - This is when Caleb's interview goes up!

May 21 - Writing Lessons from Video Games: King's Quest - A analysis of the things we can learn from this classic point and click game series. (Yes, this was Spirit at one point, but I got struck with glorious inspiration for this post.)

May 22 - Writerly Bundle #16 - Where I review Mango Turmeric tea geeky style. 

May 24 - A Book Review of Raising Dragons Graphic Novel by Bryan Davis - Pretty self explanatory. I've been wanting to read this book for a while and I'm finally getting to it!

May 27 - Tag - I will either do A Book's Genesis here or one of the many tags I have in stock. It depends how the month goes.

May 28 - So Your Character Has Mutism - A guy with Mutism has been brave enough to speak about this subject on the blog. You don't want to miss this post.

May 29 - Writerly Bundle #17 - Where I review Goji Pop tea geeky style.

May 31 - A Book Review of Hollow City by Ransom Riggs - I'm so excited about reading this book. I really enjoyed the first one. ^ ^

June 3 - Tag about MegaCon - I will be using one of my facts tags to tell you guys all about MegaCon!

June 4 - May Monthly Summary - Yes, the May monthly summery will be in June, but I won't have time to do it in the same month next month. XD

June 5 - Writerly Bundle #18 - Where I review Midsummer Night's Dream tea geeky style. 

Elsewhere ...

1.) My Top 10 Pet Peeves as a Reader by Tracey Dyck @ Adventure Awaits - A great list of tropes that also bother me in books.

2.) ELEMENTS OF A STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST by Imogen Elvis @ Gossiping Dragons - Finally someone who agrees with me with how a strong female protagonist should be!

3.) The Power of Fiction by Jason Link @ Faith and Fantasy Alliance - An inspirational post about the power of stories.

5.) Finish the Story by E. Stephen Burnett @ Speculative Faith - Another inspiring post about finishing the story both in reading and in life.

Also don't forget to look at the new Writing/Resources page up top! I've put all of my writing tips and resources there so you guys can find them easily. And the winner of the giveaway is ...

Mary Horton


I hate ending on a bad note. I don't like being negative, but 2016 has honestly been a really rough year on me so far. It feels like there are a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I'm struggling with a lot of things financially and emotionally. I'd really like to have some prayers right now. I keep trying to pick myself back up, but every time I'm almost on my feet something hits me in the fact again and I slam back down. I'm hoping May will be better, but with all of this ... I'm not sure what to think. I have a lot of life changing decisions to make. I'm just praying that God will provide and my year will just only be having a rough start. I hope you all are doing much better than me. I'm pushing on. It's just a bit rough.

How was your month? What did you do? Have you read any of these books or seen any of these shows? How's your writing going? Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming posts?

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