Tag Archives: life

Monthly Recap: December

My slacker self is finally getting around to my last monthly recap for 2017! I have to be honest, December was a bit of a blur, as the Christmas season tends to be. So this recap will be pretty brief.

Books I Read

What Light by Jay Asher

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (reread)

I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton

#bookstagram Images of the Month


Watched

Some Christmas movies, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (I shared my brief thoughts here), and we finished up our rewatch of Star Trek Voyager (top episodes posts coming soon) and started Enterprise.

Looking Forward to in 2018

A fresh start! Some things I’ve got planned: a concert in April in nearby Chattanooga, vacation to Florida in May… That’s all for now. And March Madness will be here before you know it and I’m hoping for another appearance and stellar performance by my Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders! Fingers crossed!

What was your favorite memory of 2017? Mine is visiting Savannah in September. 

Fave Five: Things in Savannah, GA

I meant to write this post detailing my trip to Savannah months ago, so I apologize this post probably won’t be as detailed as it could have been.

I wanted to touch on five categories from the trip and highlight my favorite of each, sometimes providing a second opinion as well.

Fave Meal

I know that 95% of the reason why my fave meal is my fave meal is because it just really hit the particular spot my very hungry belly needed at the time, but isn’t that the point of good food anyhow? My favorite meal was lunch from a place called J. Christopher’s. It’s a breakfast and lunch place only, and I would really love to go back for breakfast one day (because Oreo pancakes… or was it waffles?… hello…). The inside was so Savannah: colorful and artsy. Anyhow, I had a grilled chicken sandwich, which I know doesn’t sound exciting, but trust me, it was perfect.

Second opinion: My second favorite meal was tacos from Tequila’s Town, and my husband’s favorite meal was his burger at Savannah Taphouse. I think this could have been a favorite place for me too if I had ordered something else (why do I always want to try everyone’s BBQ when I know 9/10 of the times I will be disappointed?).

Fave Dessert

If you do any research on Savannah you will see a lot of fuss about Leopold’s Ice Cream and the place is legit. I will admit I still love Jeni’s the best, but Leopold’s was very good for sure. It’s next to the SCAD theater and inside there is all sorts of movie memorabilia, while still maintaining that old fashioned soda shop feel. We got our ice creams in a bowl to eat there and they were in the old fashioned glasses like you picture old timey milkshakes to be in. I had the dark chocolate but would like to check out some of the other flavors too. Definitely worth checking out.

Second opinion: My husband enjoyed our S’mores cheesecake from Lulu’s Chocolate Bar the best. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more chocolately things overall and felt I settled on the cheesecake (and believe me, I am all about the S’mores cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, this one was much more simplistic, which isn’t bad, but didn’t work for me ultimately). Also, I wasn’t expecting this place to feel so much like a sit-down place, considering it’s desserts and drinks, but it did.

Fave Attraction

My favorite attraction was such an unexpected surprise, a little place called the Webb Military Museum. This place was small in size but huge in quality. I had seen it come up in my research, but wasn’t really planning to go. Then after my husband and I did the Old Towne Trolley Tour (which I would also recommend), he was interested in this place that our driver had pointed out. He was a vet and highly recommended it, and I’m so glad we followed his rec. It feels very personal… this one guy who just loves history curated everything and had stories about several of the pieces, and there were some really unique things in there, such as the coat of a Nazi officer stationed in Siberia (which I actually got to hold and it was HEAVY to say the least). I can’t say enough good things about this museum… If you have interest in war history especially, this is a place you have to go to in Savannah.

Fave Bookstore

I won’t elaborate more than my previous post where I raved about E. Shearer. THE PLACE HAS BOOKSTORE KITTIES. I adored it.

Fave Coffee (judged by my husband… since I don’t drink coffee)

From hipster coffee to Starbucks coffee, my husband got his caffeine fix from a different place every day of our trip, and he said his favorite was from Mirabelle Cafe. We went to this place for brunch because the waffles sounded amazing and the outside of it my total aesthetic, but unfortunately it didn’t really do it for me. But if you love yourself some black coffee, grab some from there, and don’t miss the crazy beautiful church across the street, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (HOLY WOW is all I can say).

What also made this trip really special was we got to see a couple of friends who live in a nearby town and their little girls. We don’t get to see them often so it was a treat to see them and to have them show us around some. They gave us the lowdown on The Squares, Brighton Street, River Street, and other fun things locals understand best. And since we got to stay in an apartment in a beautiful old historic home, it really was almost like living there for a week. Needless to say, the trip was great and I hope to go back and explore Savannah again one day.

Have you ever been to Savannah, GA? What’s a city you got to explore this year?

 

Monthly Recap: November

Can you believe that it’s almost Christmas and the end of the year? It seemed unbelievable to me until I was thinking about the books I read early this year, and realized how long ago it seemed! Without further ado, my November…

Books I Read

Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Flame in the Mist by …. (I technically finished this Dec. 2 but considering I only read one other book, give me this, OK?)

#bookstagram Image of the Month

After we put up the Christmas tree I decided to pull out my Nikon D7000 and try out a new theme for my bookstagram, and I’m really happy with it. I plan to stick with this look through December, though I am hoping come January I won’t lose my motivation to take higher quality pictures for Instagram.

Watched

Thor: Ragnarok, and really enjoyed it! I will say that Marvel is doing a lot of the same thing over and over again, yet it doesn’t bother me because they do it so well. I just really enjoy the character interactions, mostly. And have you seen the trailer for Infinity War? It got me pretty pumped to see how they will pull everyone and the various plot threads together (though *groan* for Scarlet Witch and Vision…).

Wrote

While I technically didn’t win NaNoWriMo because I didn’t write 50K new words, I won it in my heart because I finished the first draft of my new story! Since I had written half of it already I only ended up with 26K for the month, but 53K overall. It’s a little shorter than I want because I tend to rush my story, so I’ll be fleshing it out more in revisions. It definitely needs work but I’m still happy with the story overall.

Other November Happenings

One highlight of November would have to be the day I spent with three of my good girl friends, all who were are moms The reason for pointing this out is to say that while I do see these friends on a fairly regular basis, I rarely get to hang out with them sans their kids, and while I do love their kids, it was great to just be the four of us again! We went to a place in town where you get to create your own wooden sign and had a great time! Here’s my final product:

And of course Thanksgiving was a highlight too, eating good food and spending time with my family.

Looking Forward to in December…

Christmas and all it entails!

I will also endeavor to write a few posts this blog, including my in-depth post about my trip to Savannah in September and my thoughts on the books I read this year.

How was your November? What are you looking forward to this month?

Monthly Recap: October

I’m embarrassed that I waited even longer on this recap than I did last month. In fairness, I am pretty busy with NaNoWriMo this month, and have been about 65% successful in not letting the Internet distract me too much, which is quite an accomplishment! But enough about today, let’s look back at October…

Books I Read

The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

The Knowing by Sharon Cameron

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

#bookstagram Images of the Month

Watched

The Orville, some Discovery but we gave up when our free trial ended, and Designated Survivor. And The World Series because my Astros were in it! OK, I haven’t really followed them much since I moved to TN, but I was a big fan when I lived in Houston and was so excited for them!

October Happenings

I saw Needtobreathe at the Ryman in Nashville! It was great as usual! They’re coming back in December but the show sold out so fast I couldn’t get tickets. *tears* I’m really glad I was able to make it to this show though!

The Friday before Halloween we were allowed to dress up at work, so I kept my costume simple but appropriate by going as Hermione.

Music

Listened a good bit to Echosmith’s new EP Inside A Dream (well, it doesn’t seem new now that they just released a Christmas EP I’m gonna have to check out) and Needtobreathe’s EP Hard Cuts: Songs from the Hard Love Sessions.

I won’t pretend I’m going to post again this month, because one again, I’m trying to get a first draft written. But I’ll leave you with a visual image of my WIP and say that I fully intend to post more than once next month, especially as it will be time to reflect on the best books I read this year!

How was your October? Did you do anything fun for Halloween?

Monthly Recap: September

I hate how late this recap is! I’ll try to do better next month…

Books I Read

Finished my reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

A Dash of Dragon by Heidi Lang and Kat Bartkowski

#bookstagram Images of the Month

Watched

Sing (cute), The Secret Life of Pets (forgettable), and Wonder Woman (finally, I know – I really enjoyed it but maybe not quite as much as everyone else).

September Happenings

I went on vacation in Savannah (the week after Irma hit)! I still want to talk more about this in a future post, but you can read my thoughts on two of the city’s bookstores here and just know that I really enjoyed my time there! It’s such a beautiful city.

My birthday! I turned 31 and it wasn’t even too painful, ha ha. It was a good one, with several celebratory dinners around it.

I attended the SCBWI Midsouth Conference for the fourth (I think?) year in a row, and it was such an enriching experience, as usual. But it didn’t start out roses and rainbows.

For the first time, I paid for a critique from an editor. You can do face-to-face or written, and I chose the latter. I submitted the first ten pages of the WIP I have been pouring into pretty much since my first SCBWI conference, and had recently revised due to feedback from various CPs. I thought it was in pretty good shape and was hoping for some constructive criticism. While the feedback I got back from the editor wasn’t flat out negative, it wasn’t very positive either. I understood some of what she was saying, but some of it was clear she just wasn’t getting the story. Whether that was my fault or not, I don’t know, but that was the reality.

But I immersed myself in the conference and didn’t worry too much about the critique. Then came time for our optional critique group, which is where you’re assigned to a group to critique a few pages of each other’s work. Between getting the paid critique and just already getting a lot of feedback on Earthbound, I decided to share the beginnings of a new story I just recently started working on and haven’t even completed a draft of yet. The response from those in my group was so positive that it really kind of blew me away, and definitely encouraged me. I could feel in my soul what my next course of action was – shelve Earthbound for now, give it time to simmer, and focus all my efforts on my new project.

So I’m excited! It can be hard to move on from something you’ve spent so much time on, but I honestly feel really liberated. Earthbound would be a hard sell for a debut author; this new contemporary is much easier to grasp onto. If I can write it as well as I believe I can, I believe getting an agent with it will be very possible. And here’s hoping that I can bring Earthbound back out one day, once I have that trust in place. My goal is to have my first draft of Love and Sax finished by the end of the year.

Also, these ladies are my writing lifeline!

Looking forward to in October…

Needtobreathe concert! I get to see my other favorite band this month and I cannot wait!

How was your September?