Saturday, June 4, 2016

Monthly Summary: May 2016

So much stuff happened in May that it's kind of a blur. It was really stressful for half of it and then it started simmering down and it finished with a really fun experience. This month was definitely better than April, but still hectic. Here's to an uneventful June. XD I also reached 90 follows on GFC! So close to triple digits. Thank you!

What I did:

1.) I finally sent off Red Hood to the publisher who requested it, finished Silver Hood's first draft, and I've begun the line editing for Subsapien Biomech. I haven't gotten as far into Subsapien Biomech as I've wanted, but I'm hoping to make up for that this month. I also got hired to be on staff for Geekdom House! I'm so excited. ^ ^

2.) I got a new car finally, then I got a new job, worked on a new cosplay, then my sister got in engaged. So much life-changing stuff. The best part was definitely MegaCon (which you can check out in more detail in yesterday's post). I hadn't been to a convention in a year and a half so it was so awesome to finally go to another one. It was an all around amazing experience. 

3.) I narrowly finished Hollow City in time to review it and I also finally read Raising Dragons Graphic Novel.

4.) I didn't finish all of Rouyn's expressions challenge (from my high fantasy series Starbloods), but I did manage to finish half of it. I'll finish the rest this month. Here's his happy expression though. ^ ^

5.) My first paid article for Geekdom House went up: Becoming Stone. And my review of Captain America: Civil War is up on Geeks Under Grace.

The Geeky Department:

1.) I saw Captain America: Civil War. Loved it. Team Cap forever. I also saw X-Men: Apocalypse. I didn't like it as much as Civil War, but I still enjoyed it. NIGHTCRAWLER!

2.) I've been catching up on a lot of shows. I caught up on Agent Carter and RWBY. I finally finished Lost (the ending was not as bad as I was led to believe). And I'm currently catching up on the Flash and Arrow.

I adore Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis.
3.) I replayed my favorite video game series King's Quest. I hadn't played the games in years because they didn't work on my computer, but I finally got them to work! So happeh! I also played Journey while I was down in Florida with friends, which is also very good.

4.) I met three actors at MegaCon: Vic Mignona (Ed Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, Qrow from RWBY), Trina Nishimura (Mikasa from Attack on Titan), and Elden Henson (Foggy from Daredevil, Pollux from the Mockingjay Part 1 and 2) and got stuff signed by all of them! Squee!

Vic Mignona
5.) I've got a new cosplay! It is Ino Yamanaka from Naruto. I've been wanting to cosplay as her for years and now I've finally gotten around to it. ^ ^ I'm a ninja!

What I Learned:

1.) Dying Your Hair Is a Long But Worth It Process - Ino Yamanaka has platinum blonde hair and about a week and a half ago my hair was this color:

This is from when I saw Civil War.
My wig turned out to be a problem and I could not get it to go into the style I wanted to, thus I decided I'm going to going to take the plunge and dye my hair. I've done a rogue streak before:

I obviously didn't know much about photography when I was 19 but here you go.
But I needed to dye my whole head, so I went to Sally's Beauty Supply and after consulting one of the stylists hauled a bunch of bleach, toner, conditioner, and other girly product names that I don't remember and three or four hours later. Voila!

I'm now platinum blonde! And my hair is still soft and nice. I really like this new color and I feel more confident in it. Believe it or not this was my hair color when I was younger, so I feel like I'm reverting back. This has been Tori's hair evolution.

2.) Flash Backs Aren't Fun - For all of you who don't know I got into a car accident last month, which was the opposite of fun and I was under three weeks of stress trying to get that whole situation resolved and heal physically from the bushel of contusions I got. Well, finally I got a new car and while helping my mom return another car we've been bothering so we both had transportation to our jobs, I had a flash back. I'm telling you guys this not for sympathy, but for book research purposes and to help me shake the memory. Here we go.

In the middle of driving my new car through my neighborhood, I got a whiff of a strong plastic smell and somehow my mind reverted that into the smell of burning plastic. For a second, I literally, physically saw myself back inside the accident leaning up from being hit by the airbag and I heard the crackling of my busted radio and I even started feeling where I got hurt in the stomach and on my arm like it just happened. This overwhelming fear enveloped me which forced me to pull over, so I could get bearings and it took me around a half hour to calm down. All of this is to say if your characters get a flashback it isn't exaggerated that your brain somehow makes you think and feel like you're in danger again. It's the strangest thing. 

3.) Ginger Tea and Cold 911 are Nectar of the Gods When You're Sick - The inevitable happened and I got a cold the day after I came back from Florida. I surprised this didn't happen sooner with all the stress I've been under since March. Anyway, I got the basics sore throat, fever, and congestion. I'm almost over it by now. One of the things that saved me was DavidsTea's Super Ginger tea. This stuff is awesome for sore throats. It was sweet relief drinking it. Also Cold 911 also by DavidsTea really helped my congestion. They're officially part of my sick arsenal now.

4.) Artist Commissions Are Worth It - I have done an artist commission once before online, but it wasn't the greatest experience, since I unintentionally frustrated the artist. Oops ... Fast forward to the convention, I was trying to find a picture of Qrow from RWBY, but I couldn't find one anywhere and I really wanted one so I could get it signed by Vic Mignona the voice actor. My friend Casey suggested I get a commission. After my last experience I was a wee bit hesitant, but I decided to go with it since the artist said she could get it done by Saturday when I needed it. Man, this was so worth $20. I told her I wanted Qrow in a fighting pose with a scythe, his name, and crow, and looky what I got! Isn't it epic?!

5.) Yes, Strong Christian Actors Can Be Successful - In this day and age it can feel really lonely to be a Christian--especially in the Hollywood universe. No one talks about God or church or praying, everyone talks about how much they like to party or how many one night stands they've had with pride, and it makes a Christian like me wonder, "Is there any actor out there who's actually trying to live life like depicted in the Word who isn't a part of some cheesy Christian cinema company?" Lo and behold, Vic Mignona. I'd heard he was a Christian, but it wasn't until I heard him speak in his panel that I was so blessed hearing him talk about being a worship leader or how much he loves God or how he doesn't like to drink and party. It was such a breath of fresh air. He comes under a lot of fire for his faith and people spread a lot of rumors about him, but please, support this actor. He is one of the kindest people I've ever met and I commend him for his steadfastness. We need more actors as brave as him.

What I'm Going to Do:

1.) I'm going to continue to edit Subsapien Biomech and hopefully up my progress and be able to start sending out chapters to betas. Speaking of that if you'd like to be a beta for this story check out the info at the end of the post! I'm also going to be making one sheets and preparing for pitching in July at Realm Makers!

2.) Outside of the internet ... I'll probably be working mostly. I don't really have any plans like at all for June. 

3.) I'm hoping to finish the Hive by John W. Otte and Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs and start Eye of Minds by James Dashner!

4.) I'm going to finish Rouyn's expressions and then start on Claes's expressions and fullbody. So excited!

5.) I'm hoping to write a bunch more for Geekdom House and Geeks Under Grace. Preferably an article a week each. 

Last Month on Stori Tori's Blog ...

This month's Writerly Bundles: 
Writerly Bundle #13: Lacustrine, Little Amy, Super Ginger
Writerly Bundle #14: Sophrosyne, Merlin Brews a Potion, Chai & Mighty
Writerly #15: Endemic, Rosalina in the Observatory 2, Ginger Peach Moringa
Writerly #16: Intransigent, The Survivor's Theme, & Mango Turmeric
Writerly Bundle #17: Palliate, Ao No Exorcist Second Movement, & Goji Pop

This month's books:
A Book Review of the Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams
A Book Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A Book Review of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
A Book Review of Raising Dragons Graphic Novel by Bryan Davis & Illustrated by James Art Ville

This month's writing tips:
7 Ways to Help You Get Back Into Reading
So Your Character is From England or Scotland ... Featuring Mawa, Maria, & Emily
Writing Lessons from Video Games: King's Quest on Deep Point of View
So Your Character is Mute ... Featuring Tyler Gray

My stories stuff:

Questions for Caleb (Subsapien)!
Beautiful People #17: Faol
Interview with Caleb (Subsapien) 2!
A Book's Genesis - In the Beginning There Was An Idea ... : Subsapien Biomech

Coming Soon to Stori Tori's Blog ...

June 5 - Writerly Bundle #18: Amaranthine, The Carrionites Swarm, & Midsummer Night's Dream - A Doctor Who/Shakespeare themed post with a review of DavidsTea's Midsummer Night's Dream blend. 

June 10 - Questions for Ashlyn - A call for questions for my adorable mute character from my science-fiction series Subsapien.

This is Ashlyn. Isn't she cute?
June 11 - So Your Character is from the Philippines - The next edition of So Your Character is ... featuring Andrea Salvador!

June 12 - Writerly Bundle #19 - I have yet to come up with a clever theme yet but this post will feature a review of Teavana's Youthberry tea!

June 14- A Book Review of The Hive by John W. Otte - This is a Christian space opera story about a pregnant cyborg girl. I'm really enjoying it so far. 

June 17 - Beautiful People - I wonder what Cait has in store for us this month!

June 18 - Writing Lessons Post: Star Trek: Into Darkness - I recently rewatched this movie and it renewed my love, plus the new Star Trek movie comes out in July! Old time Trekkie here. 

June 19 - Writerly Bundle #20 - This will be a Lord of the Rings-themed post as I review the Rivendell blend by Whispering Pines Tea Company! This will be the first of a bunch of Whispering Pines teas I have.

June 24 - Interview with Ashlyn (Subsapien) - Ashlyn's interview goes up on this day!

June 25 - Monthly Summary June 2016 - This month's Monthly Summary will go up normally.

June 26 - Writerly Bundle #21 - A Journey-themed bundle where I review the White Gold tea!

June 28- A Book Review of Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs - My review of the last book of the Miss Peregrine's series!

Elsewhere ...

WARNING: CHARACTERS MAY PRAY by Amy Williams @ Crosshair Press

Is Hustle Killing Your Relationship? by Emily Tjaden @ This Incandescent Life

When Man Plays God by Zachary Totah @ Speculative Faith

God and Magic by Emily @ Ink, Inc.

{ how to live } a chronically ill christian by Ely @ What Can I Say?

So that's what be happenin' with this gal's life. Also I need betas for Subsapien Biomech, my 90K first novel for my YA science-fiction series! I need people who can commit to reading the book by August at the latest. This is the blurb and you can read more about the book in the Genesis posts one and two:

The only life seventeen year old Bryce has ever known is that of a subsapien grafting—a half-human, half-cheetah creation—a prisoner in the Rota labs and the guardian of his beloved younger brother, Matt. He’s never met his parents or been to school, only endured whatever unethical experiments the scientists subjected him to. After his legs are crushed during yet another test, he wakes up in a different lab far away with new mechanical prosthetics—and without Matt. 

Judah Mitchell, the manipulative CEO of the company who owns Bryce, offers him a deal to change his destiny as a lab specimen. He wants Bryce working security with Matt in his home, giving Bryce the chance to save both himself and his brother from the abuse of the labs.

The price?  Bryce has to become like the humans who have tortured him. 
With the help of another subsapien named Caleb, he must learn to become the race he’s hated since the first needle prick. He must turn away from the ways of survival and animalistic behavior ingrained into him as a child and become normal. But secretly, he vows to escape the labs altogether—and save his brother and friends before they perish at the hands of the scientists like so many others. 

Are humans all bad, like the scientists and guards? Will he ever see his little brother again? Can he save his friends in time? Above all, is the deal worth giving up Bryce’s identity?

If anyone is interested please let me know in the comments and/or email me at howellvictoriagrace(a) Thank you and I hope you enjoyed this extra long post! XD Have a happy June!

How was your month? What did you do? Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming posts? Have you been to a convention? Have you watched any of the shows or movies I mentioned? Have you played Journey or King's Quest?

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