Second Quarter of 2017 /// Wrap-Up

6:00 AM


I HAVE RETURNED! *hurls coffee beans and confetti and hops around happily* It's been ages. I've really missed spewing my brain thoughts into the void and chatting with the lovely writer peeps that hang out here. I appreciate all of you very much! 

And now I must ask -- how do you like Stan? He's gotten quite the makeover, eh? :P I'm very excited. 

Don't get me wrong! I loved the old design. Really, really loved it. But it wasn't really me anymore. It was, but it was the old me. I've changed a LOT in the past year. I needed something more crisp and snappy. And, after agonizing over dozens of templates for a ridiculous amount of time, I settled with this. Things are still being updated and changed, so bear with me if things are iffy for a bit. 

Now, for that wrap-up I've been promising ...

L I F E 

Oh goodness. Where to even begin?

I know I promised poems but guys it's 1:45 a. m. and I PROBABLY NEED SLEEP but that's okay hahahaha who needs sleep anyway and WOW THIS IS ACUTALLY THE STORY OF MY LIFE?

Motto for this quarter: SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK.


I am also being hit with the realization that there's a reason most people don't blog at 1:45 in the morning.

Anyway. In all seriousness, the past three months have been C R A Z Y busy. So much has happened, I don't even know how to condense it! But I shall try, with the big highlights.

* I volunteered at my local library (which I've wanted to do for ages)

* I went to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a 3-day writing workshop and I got to be with ALL THE FRENS and it was wonderful. (A full-out blog post will be coming soon for that)

* I spent a week at my childhood bible camp as staff-in-training and was the official camp photographer, which was a fun experience.

* I am on the swim team for my fourth (or fifth?) year in a row (which might sound nice but it actually means getting up stupid early and going to the pool and trying not to drown for an hour and thirty minutes for four days out of the week. SO FUN.)

* I went on a mini mission trip to Kentucky (mentioned in previous post)

My summer still holds two more big trips for me, which I am excited to take. I'm also having to do collegey stuff, which is exciting and scary and nerve wracking.


MOTTO: Everything has their ups and downs.

Writing this past quarter was tricky. I felt like I was trying to pry the tusks off a walrus for half the time, and then the other half was a pleasant stroll through the meadow picking daisies. There was no in-between.

And yes, The Dream Walkers is my angel child. But, as my motto that I totally just made up on the spot at 1:56 in the morning which means it is abosulte gold and you should live by it for the rest of your life says, everything in life has its ups and its downs.

I've had some great moments with DW. I have an awesome new critique partner (*waves*) that has been super encouraging and helped me look at new angles. My lovely cousin read almost half the first draft and swarmed me with encouraging notes which were mostly just rabid fangirling. What more can a writer ask for?

And for the past 15 days, I've been writing on my nano project. You'll have to wait till next week to hear more about that though. Stay tuned!

R E A D I N G 

MOTTO: Sometimes, the brain doesn't go.

I thought about ignoring this section, but I opted against it.

To explain: I haven't been reading much at all. I really want a super good book that will sweep me off my feet, but either I just haven't found one yet (that I haven't read) or something's wrong with me. I am determined to get more reading done though. I WILL READ THE WORDS. I must. My heart longs for them.

I did get a bunch of books at the MYWW though, including a lovely book of poetry by the amazing Caroline Meek and her friend, Skylar Barnes. You should definitely check it out. It's so heart warming and touching.

I also read Book of a Thousand Days (*screams*) and Real Friends, both written (and signed!!!) by Shannon Hale. (I am totally abusing the liberty of parenthetical usage in this post and i am not even  really sorry) Both were absolutely stunning, and you can read my reviews for them on Goodreads and Instagram!

Speaking of which: I got a bookstagram! I am really enjoying it. It does take a good deal of time to snap artsy photos of books, but it's a nice break for me during the day to go to my room and make visual art with books and symbolic items. I really enjoy it, and it's so worth the 20-25 minutes it usually takes. Come check it out and say hi! (the photo graphic for this post is my latest insta photo, if you're wondering what kind of pictures I'm taking)


MOTTO: Quality music can be found in the must unexpected places.

Okay so I have BODYGUARD to thank for this quarter's new music discovery.

...are you ready for it?


...*drum roll*...

Animal documentary soundtracks. 

THINK ABOUT IT. DOESN'T IT MAKE SENSE? I'm still reeling from this discovery. The Planet Earth soundtrack? GORGEOUS. Racer Snakes vs Iguanas sounds like it's from Lord of the Rings. It specifically reminded me of when Frodo almost gets eaten by the giant spider in the third movie. BEAUTIFUL MUSIC. Chinstrap penguins is a great one too.

THANK YOU, BODYGUARD! *high fives*

As for regular music, I am currently listening to True Colors from the Trolls movie on repeat. It's such a beautiful sonngggggg. *flops* and the movie is SO GOOD. YOU NEED TO GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW.

O N   S T A N 

MOTTO: Do not fear change.

Well, I mean ... I think this one's pretty obvious.

I learned several things about myself in updating Stan. One being that I stress way too much over small things, two being I am rarely pleased with anything, and three being when I am pleased with something, I get very giddy and hyper. Hence, the long rambly post because I AM ACTUALLY HAPPY WITH MY NEW UPDATE.

Also, I literally just realized that Stan reached 100 followers. *dances and hurls lots of coffee beans and M&M's* 70 google followers, and 36 email subscribers!

Thank you guys for making this happen! It's super cool and exciting and yeah I'm just a happy squid muffin right now *beams*

And now, for everyone's favorite ...

F U N   F A C T

MOTTO: Be on the lookout for what you wish to find.

I didn't learn as many fun facts as I'd like this quarter, BUT in an intense game of Skittles with my cousins, somehow the topic of Polish holidays came up. On further research, I learned that many Polish celebrate Epiphany, which takes place on January 6th. It's kind of like Christmas, in that they celebrate the three wise men that visited baby Jesus. So, reminiscent of Christmas, but ... not. (although Polish do celebrate Christmas.)

There are parades and lots of candy and small treats. Just another reason everyone should pack up right now and go to Poland. Actually you'd have to wait six months before the holiday wouldn't that be a shame to spend six months in Poland.

This has been quite lengthy, but I hope you enjoyed! I'll be back next week with a Nano-related post, and then I'll give you ALL THE STORIES from this years writing workshop.

Please, talk to me! Do you like Stan's new design? Has your summer been busy or relaxed? Have you gotten much writing done? Are you doing nano? If so, how are you doing so far? Do you have a fun fact to share? 


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  1. STAN IS GORGEOUS! Ahhhh the design is super pretty and that header is beautiful! :D Also, congrats on 100 followers! You deserve every one of them. <3

    *waves back, then hugs* I'm so glad to have you too. (And Wimbo. And Wolf. And every other lovely character; I'm happy to have them/read about them as well!)

    My summer certainly hasn't been as crazy as yours, so I am managing to cram in lots of editing of a, ahem, certain project. ;) My holidays are almost over though, so goodness knows how I'm going to be able to finish the rest of Camp with school. Oh well, I'll find a way. XD

    Happy to have you back! <3

    1. Thank you! The header took me ages :P I knew what I wanted, so creating what I had in my head was tricky. But it all worked out in the end! AND YOU'LL ROCK CAMP! I believe in you! *hugs*

  2. Oh man I just love Stan's new design SO MUCH!!!!!!! I mean seriously. It's basically my favorite kind of theme, so simple and minimalistic and pretty AND THAT HEADER THOUGH...

    I 100% meant to comment on your last post but... Ahem... when I was about to I saw you had this new post up. So.

    I'm trying to redo the design for my blog, but... *faint sobbing* I don't really like any of the Wordpress themes... I was thinking about getting one off Etsy but apparently that's really weird. Also trying to make a header. Yours is gorgeous!!

    Our summer has definitely been a bit crazy, what with sickness and all the summer things and me trying to do Nano this month... So, yes, I'm doing Nano. I'm doing pretty well, I guess.

    CONGRATULATIONS ON 100 FOLLOWERS. I know that must be so thrilling!! :D And I can't wait for all the stories!! Eeep!

    Also, animal documentary soundtracks???? That is GENIUS.

    Aaaannnd... this comment is getting long and rambly. As usual. Hope your summer is WONDERFUL and all your words come easily and you don't have to rewrite them too many times. You're awesome and you can do this!!!

    Have a lovely day!


    1. Thank you! Minimalist blog templates are my fav :) Good luck on your new design! I would advise giving yourself several weeks off to try to figure things out. You might be more natural with graphic design and template finding, but it took me ages to find/get what I want XP

      You're a lovely human and this comment made me smile :) Same to you! Have a blessed and lovely rest of the summer! <3

  3. I'm failing at NaNo (I just caught up yesterday someone help me). But writing is getting done, and maybe I'll finish my (ridiculously short) novel this month. It needs to. Good luck with your project!

    1. Remember: failure isn't not measuring up to a goal you have set. Failure is not even trying. When you don't reach what you wanted, you still reached something! And I don't think that should be called a failure. You'll finish what you need to! I, too, am writing a super short novel for nano so I feel you XP May your words flow smooth and easily! <3

  4. James Oliver7/15/17, 12:01 PM


    1. Aw, thanks! I'm debating whether to keep changing the themes (poems, mottos, maybe next time idioms or something) or just find one I like and settle on that. Who knows? I'm so inconsistent anyway, even if I decided I'd probably change it by the time it's time for the next quarter wrap-up :P

  5. The new design is gorgeous, I am in love with it! Did you do it yourself?
    If so omigoodness how?

    1. Thank you! It took me ages. I didn't create the template. I downloaded it from Gooyaabi Templates (just scroll to the bottom and you'll see the link to it). There are lots of free templates online. Just google them! Creating my header was a little more difficult, thus more complicated to explain. I might do a post on it in the future! :) (By the way, I absolutely love Ink Castle's header. PERFECTION AND BEAUTY.)

  6. I ADORE Stan's new design! I literally clicked into your blog and was like "oh, wow, this is so cool!" I really liked the old design, but this is definitely clean and crisp and asdfjkl; I love it :D

    Funny you mention Poland, because I'm actually half Polish xD Everyone on my mom's side is, and we do celebrate the Epiphany!

    audrey caylin

    1. Omgoodness REALLY? That is SO COOL! YOU ARE SO COOL. :D Do you go to a festival or parade? How do you celebrate it??



    It's so crisp and clean and lovely and I just cannot get enough of it. :') I loved your old design, too, but sometimes I had trouble reading it on certain computers, so I'm so thrilled to be able to read all of your lovely words anytime now!!!!!!

    I feel you. Sleep is for the weak. But soon, I think I may be weak xD Life is so crazy, isn't it?

    SHANNON HALE BOOKS!!!! I've never read Real Friends, but I'll have to get my hands on a copy ASAP- I love her books.

    These wrap up posts are so fun:) <3

    1. Awwww I'm so glad you like it!! :D I was beginning to have trouble reading on my own blog, too, actually. My eyes have been ... weird XP And yeah, sometimes we need to be weak to live hehe. I'm glad you like my wrap-ups! I enjoy them :)

  8. SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK - I whole-heartedly agree! Who needs sleep? I can go days without foralskdjfalsdjfasasdfklj *faceplants keyboard*

    But I just discovered Stan, and I think I'm in love, and will certainly be returning!

    (And I love reading Shannon Hale's books! BoaTD is one of Pup's (one of my sisters) favorite reads.)

    1. Ahhhhahahaha SAME THOUGH. My words begin to fizzle if I don't give in to my weakness after a while. *sigh* If only ... But I do /like/ sleeping, so I suppose that makes it all bearable.

      I'm so glad you like Stan! That makes me so happy :D And I just read BoaTD (right before I met the author) and IT WAS SO GOOD. Definitely one of my favorites by her. Have you read it?

    2. I have read it - I really enjoyed it, though it's been a while since I've done a re-read. I do like her Books of Bayern much better, admittedly.

    3. You should re-read it! And you could even take notes, because she is such a master. So much can be learned from her works. And I agree - nothing can beat her Books of Bayern. :D

  9. I LOVE YOUR NEW DESIGN OMG IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL. *pitches tent* I'm just going to camp out on your blog forever how about that <3

    EEEP sounds like you've been having a busy (and fun!) summer! "Motto for this quarter: SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK." <<<< CAN I HAVE A T-SHIRT WITH THIS MOTTO ON IT?? :'''') BEAUTIFUL. This is what I live by, man. LET'S BE PART OF THE SLEEPLESS ELITE SHALL WE??

    *tosses confetti and waffles in your direction*
    Have a wonderful July!!

    rock on,

    1. Dude I love your blog design! Just saying. I now notice blog designs when I read posts because I SLAVED OVER THIS ONE SO HARD XP But yeah, yours is gorgeous! <3 And I totally second that. We'll start a club that posts at twelve in the morning and then takes the post down at five so only people with insane sleep cycles will see it. And through those posts, we will plot our conquering of the world. *nods* Sounds like a plan

  10. Sounds like a really busy time! "Real Friends" looks like such a nice book; thanks for sharing. What is your favorite genre of book? Congrats on the 100 followers, btw!

    1. Thank you! My heart will always be with Fantasy, both Middle Grade and Young Adult. This was a Middle Grade contemporary graphic novel, and soooo so good! You should definitely read it! <3

  11. Stan looks even more handsome than before! And you're so lucky that you got to volunteer at your local library!

    1. Thank you so much! He's going to get a big head if I'm not careful XP And yes, I am very blessed. It was a wonderful experience!

  12. Your blog looks great. I also love how in your about me page, you call people stalkers. I'm new to your blog, but I already love it. Love this post.
    God bless you! :)


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