Saturday, December 31, 2016

Monthly Summary: December 2016/Year End Post + Giveaway & Survey

2016 was a whirlwind of a year. I'm still reeling from it. I'm glad most of it happened, but at the same time I'm glad it's over. This month I feel like I've been recovering from the chaos of this year. 

What I did:

1.) This month: I didn't really do much writing at all besides articles and a few blog posts. I've been trying to rest my creative mind a bit, so I'm recharged for next year. 

This year: This year I drafted Silver Hood, I edited Red Hood (again), I edited Subsapien: Biomech (again), and I rewrote Starbloods

2.) This month: 
I've been taking a bit of a break and trying to focus on resting. I've felt a lot of burn out after this year and I've just needed time to recharge. In that time, I've been enjoying a lot of Christmas activities such as the Walk Through Bethlehem event at a nearby church, my church's Christmas Eve service, a Christmas concert, my aunt's Christmas tea party, and my church's Christmas tea party plus lots of Christmas shopping. 
Walk Through Bethlehem

Then of course I celebrated Christmas. My sister and her fiance came over for the Christmas Eve dinner I made then we opened some presents and looked at Christmas lights. On Christmas day, my family opened presents then we went to my aunt's house and opened more presents then had Christmas dinner. Then went home and watched Star Trek: Beyond while doing a puzzle.

Puff pastry tree, a recipe from Alison's Wonderland Recipes! It was so good!

I love watching people open the presents I gave them and being happy. I also love the gifts I got this year which included a pair of Star Trek pajamas, a set of Prismacolor pencils, a tea strainer in the shape of a little dude named Mr. Tea, an iTunes giftcard (which I used to get the Skyrim and Attack on Titan Soundtrack), and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. 

This year: This year was a roller coaster of a year. I got a rejection that wrecked me for months then I went skiing in North Carolina. 
My grandfather died and then I flew to Canada for the first time to visit a friend. I had a car accident that put me in the hole financially and given me back issues then I went to MegaCon and had the best convention experience of my life. 

I've dealt with debilitating mental health issues this year, but I also took a trip to Philadelphia for Realm Makers. I had an extremely frustrating job that ended up sucking away my writing time, but I also visited my cousin in New York City. I got another job and they let me go, but I went for Disney World for the second time. I got published in magazines three times this year, but I still haven't gotten a novel published.

I've had so much good stuff and so much bad stuff happen at one second 2016 was an amazing experience and on the other hand I'm glad it's done. I still feel like I'm working through the aftermath of the bad that happened this year, but I'm trying to hold onto the good. I'm worried about what's to come in 2017 financially because of 2016, but I also have the memories of the good that did happen this year. 

3.) This month: I finished reading the Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, both of which I enjoyed. Reviews up soon!

This year: I've read 28 books this year, which may seem like just a few to many of you super readers, but I'm happy with what I have read. 

4.) This month: This month I drew three of my characters from Subsapien in my new art style. 

This year: I was going to focus on drawing full body drawings, but I ended up enhancing my style's facial design and I think it's pretty crazy how my style has grown just from earlier this year to now. 

5.) This month: Over at Geekdom House I wrote posts about Stranger Things and the Last of Us. Over at Geeks Under Grace, I wrote a review of Assassin's Creed!

This year: I wrote fourteen posts for Geekdom House, seventeen posts for Geeks Under Grace, and various guest posts on other sites. 

The Geeky Department:

1.) This month: This month I saw Rogue One and Assassin's Creed in theaters, both of which I enjoyed. ^ ^ And I saw an exclusive showing of Spirited Away in theaters for the movie's fifteenth anniversary!

This year: I've seen fourteen plus movies in the theaters most of which I've reviewed for Geeks Under Grace. 

2.) This month: I started Man in the High Castle, which I'm enjoying. I just wish there wasn't so much adult language in it. I mean come one people is it really necessary to use the f-bomb that many times? XD 

This year: I don't even know how many shows I've watched this year ... Around ten ... XD

What I Learned/How I've Grown This Year:

This month & This Year: On Pinterest, I stumbled across this quote and it resonated with me deeply. It feels like a quote that really sums up this year for me:

"You keep waiting for the dust to settle, and then you realize this is it: the dust is your life going on. If happy comes--that weird unbearable delight that's actually happy--I think you have to grab it while you can." ~ Kitty Pryde, Astonishing X-Men 3 #22
I feel like a lot of explosions happened in my life and all year I've been waiting for the dust to settle. I kept telling myself maybe next month life will get easier, but it felt like every month had its own trials. The dust never settled the dust was my life going on. Instead of waiting for the dust, I'm teaching myself to grab the happy moments. 

What I'm Going to Do/Some New Years Resolutions:

1.) Next month: I'm going to be working on edits. I need to revise a manuscript for re-submission and I want to start on edits on Starbloods after the six weeks mark.  

Next Year: I want to resubmit Red Hood to a publisher who wanted it but needed something changed, I want to get Starbloods ready for pitching by Realm Makers in July, I may be starting a whole new series for a mentorship program but we'll see, I'd also like to rewrite Subsapien: Grafting (again) because I have some better ideas for it or work on Silver Hood, and then I'll do NaNo, but I don't know what I'll do for it yet. 

2.) Next month: I'm probably going to be job searching again. It's such a tedious process. XD I don't have any set plans besides that. 

Next Year: I'm going to Canada again in February then I'm saving up to go to MegaCon again in May and then Realm Makers in July, so I can pitch (and meet Ted Dekker). *crosses fingers* 

3.) Next month: I'm hoping to finish Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Firebird by Kathy Tyers. I'm also hoping to start Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and City of Bones by Cassandra Claire. 

Next Year: I'm still working on my plan to read a least a little of a bunch of famous series, so I want to read at least these twelve books (not including the ones I plan to finish next month):
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
City of Bones by Cassandra Claire 
Scarlet Moon by S.D. Grimm
Black by Ted Dekker
Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Paper Towns by John Green
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi
Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

4.) Next month: I'll probably be working on more shoulder-ups, because I'm still on a kick. XD

Next Year: I'm hoping to do more shoulder-ups with my advanced style and finally more fullbodies. 

5.) Next month: I have more Geekdom House posts to go up and I'm hoping to review A Monster Calls.

Next Year: I'm planning to write many posts for Geekdom House and Geeks Under Grace.

Last Month on Stori Tori's Blog ...

This month's books:

A Book Review of Beyond the Gateway by Bryan Davis
A Book Review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This month's writing tips:

What Being a Staff Writer has Taught Me
So Your Character is From Germany ... Featuring Fraise Fruitrouge
Writing Lessons from TV Shows: Stranger Things

My stories stuff:

Questions for Mordraug (Starbloods)!

Other stuff: 

Ten Fictional Vehicles I'd like to Ride In
The Q & A Tag!

So Your Character is ... Project:

Last year at this time I announced the official starting of this project, and it has grown so much! On the blog we had posts from over twenty people from thirteen different countries from every inhabited continent! I also extended the project to people with handicaps and phenomenons and the blog had six different ones with five participants. 

New Zealand
The Philippines

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I'm really passionate about writers getting their research right and I'm so happy to have so many contributors.  I already have contributors for next year! Keep an eye out for posts on blindness, The Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Wales, France, India, Panama, Italy, Puerto Rico, Turkey, and Ukraine! I'm trying to fill out the whole atlas. Gotta dream big right? If anyone is interested in participating in this project please let me know! I'm especially looking for citizens of Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Egypt, and Japan.

2016's So Your Character is From Another Country Map!
Coming Soon to Stori Tori's Blog ...
I will be on hiatus for the majority of January, but I will be back on the 20th!

January 20 - Beautiful People - I don't know what Cait and Sky have in store, but I'm excited to participate.
January 21 - Writing Lessons from Video Games: Skyrim on World Building - Skyrim has a crazy level of worldbuilding rivaling Tolkien, and there are lots of details to learn from this game. I may have to split this piece into two parts it's so massive. XD
January 24 - So Your Character Has Depression ... - This is a really personal post of mine, but I feel like I should come out with it.
January 27 - You Deserve to Be Inspired Contest Entry - I'm entering into Positive Writer's essay contest, which must be in the form of a blog post.
January 28 - So Your Character is from The Netherlands ... Featuring Arlette @ Arlette Writes - Are you writing a Dutch character? Then this is the post to check out!
January 31 - Monthly Summary - A summary of January's events.

Elsewhere ...

I love reading everyone's posts and I'm looking forward to reading more next year! I loved this one of Tracey's in particular this month!

The Giveaway:
I'm giving away a free book! Hardcopy or Ebook for U.S. residents and Ebook for residence out of the U.S.!

The Survey: 

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2016 was a crazy year, but I've had a good feeling for years that 2017 would be a great year. I hope I'm right haha. Thank you, everyone, for your encouragement and fangirling and comments of all sorts. Happy New Year!

How was your month/year? How was your Christmas? What did you do? Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming posts? Are you looking forward to any of these drawings? Have you read any of these books? Have you seen any of these movies? What are some of your goals for next year?

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