When Life Gets Away From Me...


It's been awhile since I've written on here, so there are quite a few new things I've done in the past couple of months, but for time's sake, I'll try to focus on just a few of them. I'd originally planned to post this last week, but life got away from me. I'm sorry.
In view of this, I will be posting the review I told you about next month instead of this month. I still want to explore the program a little further before writing the review and next month should give me ample time to do it.
So here are a few things of import.
First we have:

Last month I got to read a few awesome books that have been sitting on my TBR (to-be-read) list for who-knows-how-long. Here are some I read:

I did write reviews for most of them, and you can find them by going to Goodreads and selecting the book. My username is Aristae Henricus on there, but you can also read the reviews of many other people who have read these books as well.

Here are the books I'm currently reading:

   (10 books. Yes, I know. It's a lot.)

I'll try and post reviews on Goodreads when I'm finished.
 So, besides reading, life has been crazy.

  • Another of my sisters got married back in March. It was beautiful but wow! It happened in such a short time from the sister's wedding back in November that my life feels like a whirlwind ride.
  • To add to that, one of my brothers got married Memorial Day weekend. It's weird that he's not at home anymore. I'm happy for him, of course, but I'm just used to him coming home on the weekends.
  • My car started making weird noises and had to get repaired. So, two hub-wheel-bearings and a set of front brakes later + a lot of money and it's working well now. It's nice to drive and be able to hear people talk. Before it got fixed it sounded like a helicopter. 
  • One of my goals since the beginning of the year has been to work out more consistently. I've started working out every day. (Yay!) Tuesday will be a solid three weeks of working out consistently. I'm happy with that. I'll be even more happy if I continue and don't give up.
So, that's why I've been away so long. Family life has been crazy but good. Somehow I've managed to keep writing.

In my writing news I:
  • Wrote a working synopsis for Tear. It's not quite ready to show everybody, but I got something done which is important.
  • I started plotting the unnamed sequel to Harbinger. I'm so excited for this! I wrote part of it a couple of years ago as a first-person narrative, but now I'm not sure that I want to keep it that way. Third person is more comfortable for me to write. I'll have to see how the story tells itself to me when I start the first draft.
  • I participated in CampNaNoWriMo for the first time and had lots of fun with Elza Kinde as cabin manager. You can check out her blog and website by clicking on the link above. I'm happy to say that even though I had a rough time with life events piling in halfway through the month, I was able to pull through and win with 50,000 words edited for Harbinger.
  • I did lots of beta-reading for Hope Ann and Emma Bowman, learned a lot and had a blast! You can find out more about these awesome authors by clicking on the links above. 
  • I'm continuing to work on edits for Harbinger. Right now, I'm working on creating a synopsis for each chapter. It's helping find typos that I missed during the first round of editing, pesky plot holes and other things (like sentence structure), that I want to fix. (These are the benefits of not allowing yourself to backspace or edit as you write. So many problems, so much fun!)
  • I also participated in April's Poetry Month. I write free-write poetry and had so much fun with this.
  • I signed up for CampNaNoWriMo again next month. I don't currently have a cabin, but there's still a week left until it starts so I'm hopeful. I decided to have a smaller goal because of other events next month that will keep me busy.
  • One of those events that will keep me busy next month is attending my first-ever writing conference: Realm Makers. I'm both nervous and excited. I've talked to so many amazing writers online, but now I get to meet them in person and I just might explode! (Also, I'm fighting my introverted feelings of wanting to hide and wondering why I signed up in the first place. It's going to be interesting.)
With all of that, it gets even worse. I've set some goals for myself for the rest of this year. 
*gasp* Is she crazy? Possibly. 😊

  • I want to continue working on Tear with the purpose of having a story-skeleton done for NaNoWriMo in November.
  • I'm extra crazy and decided to try and read 150 books by the end of this year. So far, I've read 33. I'm optimistic, but I do realize that I might not get there. Still, one can dream, right?
  • I'm continuing to brainstorm the unnamed sequel for Harbinger. My goal for this is to have enough brainstorming done so I can get a synopsis and story-skeleton ready by March 2020. 
  • And last, but not least: I'd like to finish my second-round edits for Harbinger by the end of this year. That means, the extended synopsis has to be finished *glares at synopsis*, typos weeded out (as best as I can), and POVs in line. (There are some POVs I want to get rid of and some that I really want to rework, but I'm not there in my editing process yet.)

  • As if my schedule isn't already filled enough, I'm considering starting an Instagram. I have no idea why, other than I think it might be a fun challenge. I have an account, but right now it's just to follow people and see their pictures, art and such...
  • I'm researching proofreading and what it takes to become a proofreader. I enjoy editing and I've already done it to some capacity in the past, so this is something I'm looking into.
  • I would really like to get some developmental editing for Harbinger next year. There are a few things that are keeping me from getting it, namely finances, but while I'm working on those, I can do some research on it.

  • You may have noticed I never included that review I talked about late last month. I'm still working on it and I hope to have it out to you next month. I can tell you what I will be reviewing. I'm learning a new program called The Novel Factory. I found it on Pinterest about a year or two ago and have been tinkering with it all this past year.
  • I'm starting a new thing called Poetry 15th. On the 15th of every month, it is my intention to post one of my poems and invite you to write your own. You don't have to share them, but I just thought it would be a fun thing to do and a good exercise of our imaginations.

So that is it. If you have any thoughts or questions (or find any typos or grammatical mistakes in my writing. Really. I'm still learning so I appreciate help.), please feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Writing!



  1. Wow, you are amazing! I can't believe how much you've already accomplished this year! Good on you! I'm on par with you on the reading. I find it amusing that you also are (re)reading Shakespeare -- it's a goal of mine to read all his works since I loathed it back in high school, but now I actually enjoy it. And understand it... much more than I did back then, in any case.

    Congrats to your siblings and glad that all is going well. And congrats on Camp! I don't know how you managed to get all this writing work and projects done already, do you sleep at all, ever?? The writing conference sounds really fun, do make a followup post on that if you can!

    Instagram is fun, I do mostly food and cat pictures. It's my "happy place" for five minutes a day free of politics and being bombarded by self-promotions and advertisements.

    ps. May I add that your proofreading skills are excellent!

    1. Aw...thank you! That means a lot.
      What is your favorite Shakespeare? I've always loved Hamlet. I discovered the Mel Gibson version of it back when I was a kid and fell in love. It helps to watch a good representation of it so that you can see it how it was meant to be watched. One of my favorite things to do is to read Shakespeare out loud with accents and hand motions.
      Thank you! I've gotten into a cabin for Camp next month and I'm so happy! I keep a writing calendar that I check off every day after I write and then I keep track of hours on the NaNoWriMo website. Both are great motivators and then my little brothers threaten me if I don't edit because they really want to read my book.
      I do sleep, believe it or not. I'm trying to be good and get to bed early (10-ish). If I do that, then get up at 6-ish, then I can get stuff done. I'm contemplating at getting up at 5:30, but I don't know if I can do that right now.
      I'll definitely try and do a follow-up post on the writing conference! It'll give me an excuse to do another blog post. :)
      Your Instagram sounds fun! I definitely am attracted to a place that you say is free of politics, advertisements and self-promotions. I might have to give it a whirl.
      Also, thank you! I'm trying to get better at proofreading. It's another challenge that I want to conquer.

  2. Well, speaking as someone who's been a proofreader/editor professionally, I'd say you'd need to bone up on your English skills. You should be able to create a post that's error free down to the most minuscule detail. For instance, "I'll try and focus" should be "I'll try TO focus" because you're not trying AND focusing which are two separate things; you're trying to focus. See the difference? It's a usage error and you have several of them. I’ll hit on just a few:

    -- "It's working good now" should be "It's working well now." "Good" is an adjective. Adjectives modify nouns, not verbs. "Working" is a verb form here so it needs the adverb "well" as a modifier.

    -- “This is the benefits …” Nope. That should be “These are the benefits.” You can’t use the singular “this” with the plural “benefits” nor can you use the singular “is” with the plural “benefits.”

    -- “… a solid three-weeks …” No hyphen there, mainly because it’s not modifying anything. You would, for example, hyphenate “a three-week vacation” because it’s not a three vacation or a week vacation; it’s a three-week vacation. The two words need to be “attached” because they’re modifying “vacation” in that scenario.

    Essentially, you need to know everything there is to know about English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage. Beyond that, then you need to know what you don’t know so you can research anything questionable or debatable. If you don’t know, look it up. If you don’t KNOW you don’t know, you’re in trouble. Simply proofing or editing your own work isn’t enough. If you want to proofread, offer to proofread articles for a local paper or something to get your feet wet and have someone monitor your work. It’s one thing to like to proofread or edit; it’s another thing altogether to be good at it. It’s extremely detailed work. Extremely.

    1. Thank you for your feedback! It's greatly appreciated.


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