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Category Archives: Monthly Summaries

May 2016

I’m fully aware that I skipped the April 2016 summary post, but I have my reasons. Imagine me in dark clothing with a sinister smirk. May 2016 was a full month for me, which indicates why I haven’t posted recently, but I hope to start slowing my life down a bit soon.

A bit of background for those who haven’t met me in person: I have nine siblings. Perhaps the most important thing happening right now is that my mother’s in the city and expects to be delivering a new sibling any time soon. There’s a general air of anticipation here at home, and my parents and grandparents have switched houses until Number 11 arrives. Myself, I’m simmering with excitement and waiting to boil over when the call finally comes.

New additions to the family aside, let’s move on to what I’ve been doing this past two months!

Writing takes top of the list. For some weird reason.

  • As my most recent post attests, I entered Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Primarily to get the Scrivener discount, I accept, but I wrote more than 20,000 words of planning and outlining on two different projects: The second draft for The Teller’s Apprentice and a short story currently entitled The Sharakiva Games. That last one I’m not writing any time soon, but it was nice to have a break from The Teller’s Apprentice for a while.
  • In May I completed my outlining for The Teller’s Apprentice and, over the last two weeks, wrote 36,000 words. I discovered recently, however, that both my point of view characters needed much stronger motivations and goals—from which I get a feel for the overall story—and so back to the outline I went. I’m still working on revising the outline with those goals and motivations in mind, but I hope to restart writing again soon.
  • I found out that I can write 4000 words a day. Doing so takes its toll on me as the days pile up, but I’m hoping to improve my word count per day and keep the balance with my life and mood.

Reading is probably the most interesting part, I guess. For you at least.

  • As a summary from last post, I finished the Ranger’s Apprentice and Goldstone Wood series back in April. I snapped up both Songkeeper and The End of All Things when they came out and enjoyed them both. You’ll recall that I reviewed those two last books in April.
  • I started reading Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt series but didn’t like the content. Then Karen Traviss’s Halo: Glasslands and got put off by the profanity. I’ll give the Halo universe another try with Halo: Cryptum, which is by a different author.
  • I read and loved Karen Miller’s Clone Wars: Wild Space! Obi-Wan Kenobi is my favourite Star Wars character, and the pressure he was placed under and the choices he made in his suffering were so compelling my heart was still racing when I finished. I also enjoyed Miller’s portrayals of Yoda, Bail Organa, Anakin, Ahsoka, and the Jedi in general.
  • I’m currently reading Brandon Mull’s Beyonder series. I finished the first book today and really liked it. I’ve posted a review to Goodreads, which I intend to transfer here sooner or later.

Life finds its place waaaay down here. Poor thing.

  • Aside from the announcement earlier in this post…little things. Little steps. I started making to-do lists and keeping a calendar of my events on my wall. I reinforced my writing craft. I wrote a blog post today. I turned on music and danced with my younger siblings. I started getting up earlier to an alarm. I started going for walks to figure out problems in my writing. I prepared and argued in a debate about physical education. Little things, little steps, but which are becoming habits.

And finally my plans for June.

  • Turn nineteen. Top of the list.
  • I intend to buy Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist when the ebook version drops to US$1.99. I’ve been waiting to read this book for a long time but haven’t been able to convince my library to buy it. To make matters worse, my older brother—who often drives into the city for work—has read it at the city libraries, and I don’t want to hear anything that happens until I’ve read it myself.
  • Brandon Sanderson’s graphic novel White Sand is coming out this month! I’ve read all the sample pieces I can find. Here’s hoping my library decides to buy it, because it looks quite expensive on Amazon.
  • Those two books above are on my calendar.
  • I want to finish Brandon Mull’s Beyonders series and read the other books of his at my library.
  • I want to finish my outlining and leap back into rewriting The Teller’s Apprentice, second draft.

What have you done in May? What do you plan to do in June?

Matthew

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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Monthly Summaries

 

March 2016

Happy April Fool’s Day! Last night and this morning provided a lot of laughs for me. A younger brother stuck my mouse to the mouse pad with blue tack, and my sister hung a pink and blue dress on the clothes hooks I recently put up in my room. My older brother also switched around the drawers at my computer. Here’s a few of the pranks I pulled:

  • Hiding my dad’s biking/running gear in the washing machine
  • Replacing my dad’s phone with a toy one and his computer mouse with a Lego rat
  • Putting a tiny computer screen on my dad’s desk in front of his much larger one
  • Removing the refill from a brother’s pen
  • Pulling out all the plugs on another brother’s computer
  • Changing my mother’s desktop background—a picture of our family—to the same picture with my youngest brother’s face pasted over everyone else’s
  • Texting “Happy birthday” to a friend

And a few more, which were funny but not quite appropriate for public mention. All in all, today has been a great day for laughter and pranks, and I’m happy with what I’ve done this April 1st. That doesn’t mean I’m going to refrain in the American April 1st, though… Hey. It’s only once a year. Might as well play it to the fullest.

But anyway. Let’s move on.

March has been an intense month for me. Since August 2015 I’ve been recording how many words I’ve written each day, and this month I’ve found that I do well writing 2000 words daily. Take a look at this snapshot of my records. (As you can see, Friday is consistently my best writing day, and Thursday my worst.)

March2016WC

Writing

  • I completed the first draft of The Teller’s Apprentice at 9:30 pm on the 29th! This developmental draft has ended with a massive 192,027 words and has taken me thirteen months to write—and the story I’ve written is a third of the story I originally planned with the OYAN course. I am so glad the thing’s done. Now I can leap into planning, reviewing, editing, revising, cutting and organising for the second draft. Which is shaping up to be much different from what I planned. Heheh.
  • I’m currently working on outlining 600 years of history for the Teller’s Apprentice world, Valdegurd. Since the story focuses a lot on story and history, this project is important to me, and I’m loving what I’ve got out of it so far.
  • Recently I’ve discovered that freewriting—taking a topic of my books and writing freely—is one of the best ways for me to develop my stories. Ideas come best to me when I’m putting them down on paper, and as I write more ideas flow and connect.
  • Camp NaNoWriMo is this month! I may enter to work on my Histories of Valdegurd project, but we’ll see.

CNW_Participant_v02

Reading

  • I discovered the entire Sherlock Holmes bibliography in the public domain on Wikisource and read the entire The Return of Sherlock Holmes collection in one day.
  • I’m currently reading the Tales of Goldstone Wood series for the second time in a not quite chronological order: Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Shadow Hand, Goddess Tithe, Starflower. The next one on my list to read is Dragonwitch.
  • April offers new opportunities for new books! Part 3 of Jill Williamson’s Kinsman Chronicles, The End of All Things, is coming out on the 5th, and Ranger’s Apprentice #4: Oakleaf Bearers is becoming available in my library’s ebook collection on the 4th. I’m also eagerly waiting for Gillian Bronte Adams’ Songkeeper, book 2 in the Songkeeper Chronicles.

Life

  • Life has been…mainly focused around writing and reading this month, to be honest. So, Number 1: I finished my first draft!
  • Now that I’ve finished my developmental draft, however I intend to come out of my writer’s cave a little more. On the 31st I spent part of the afternoon organising games after our local writer’s group, which is composed of a few homeschooling families with children and teens aged from like one-year-olds to young adults almost 20.
  • This year is the second year I’ve done ballet, and I’m planning to do the Grade 5 ballet exam at the end of the year, which I chose not to do last year. I have two ballet lessons a week, one by myself and the other with a class of three girls, two of whom also go to the aforementioned writer’s group.

Plans for April

  • In April I plan to be a little more social than I have been in March.
  • Reading! The above books will be available soon, after which I hope to read the rest of the Sherlock Holmes bibliography, the rest of the Ranger’s Apprentice series and the rest of the Goldstone Wood series. Let’s see if I can get through them all in April.
  • As far as writing goes, I want to freewrite a lot, plan a lot, finish my Histories of Valdegurd project and sort out my ideas for the second draft of The Teller’s Apprentice. Which is likely not going to have the same title as the first draft.

What have you done in March? What do you plan to do in April?

Matthew

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Monthly Summaries