Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Highlights

  Honestly, I'm having trouble realizing that today is the last day of May?? What even. That's five whole months of 2017 gone just like that...wowza.

  May has definitely gone by the fastest of all the months this year, and it's only just starting to dip into that crazy time of year where life goes into hyper-drive. Am I falling behind? Yes. Am I still going at top-speed anyway? Also yes. Am I probably going to crash and burn by fall? Heck yes. But not before. I am determined in this.



  LIFE EVENTS

  • The biggest and most exciting event of May was our trip out to the West Coast to see Quadra Island's Camp Homewood. I went with my fiance and his family (us four girls being the only ones who went to the camp) and really had a blast. I had never been to that side of the country before, so it was a super cool experience. I posted about it here.
Camp Homewood dock on Quadra Island, BC.
  • Australian horse jedi, Warwick Schiller, came and gave a clinic at my riding stable and that was special to watch. I learned so many new concepts about horses in just a couple hours of watching and listening to him. 
  • My family and some fellow homeschooling friends attended the March for Life rally in Edmonton, AB. I have never been to a rally, it was a neat experience. A few people seemed pretty upset with our march, but overall our walk was met mostly with people's cell phone cameras. 
Our "March Team" selfie
  • Since Kyrianna has been out of commission in terms of horses, I haven't been at the barn as much lately. So little jumping to show. However, I have done a lot of horsework at camp, including working with the sketchy new horse, Baxter. I decided I was going to make him quiet and safe to mount. Our first session took 30 minutes of me standing beside him/half-mounting him til he stood still for me to get completely on. Then it went down to 20. Last Saturday it was a solid 5 minutes. I am so proud of him, and myself, for accomplishing even that small thing. The main difference I am finding in him is that he is so much more relaxed and happy-looking, which is great to see from him as he is usually nervous and grumpy. I have also been working with Gus, Flash and Job who all have their own little issues to solve (though they are not so needy as Baxter).
  • My cousin Abby graduated high school! It was my second time only attending a public school grad and it was very, very long. She had 400+ students graduating with her and the ceremony was very boring but I thoroughly enjoyed the pre-ceremony photography that I had the privilege to do with her. :D
Abby is so pretty and Alberta got SO GREEN just overnight. Love it!
  • I threw a bit of a get-together for a camp staff friend of mine, Chance. Us girls ended up having quite a few pictures taken throughout the day. Please keep Chance in your prayers as she is going in for a brain surgery today because of a tumor behind her eye. Any and all prayer for her and her family/boyfriend, Josh, would be welcomed whole-heartedly.
Chance is pictured on the far right. Please pray for her!
  • I've found myself drawn to the lake quite a bit this year even though it's only May and in Canada the water is usually still cold. Trust me, it is still cold. 
But not too cold for pictures of handsome fiances
  • Seeding. Ugh. Spring is unfortunately the bearer of bad news for me when it comes to farming. The work triples and gets so long and hot and miserable. I just finished a 14 hour day as I type this and believe me, I am NOT looking forward to returning to the drudgery tomorrow. 
  • BABY ANIMALS. I think we're finally pretty much done calving, but we've also had some new kittens and that's pretty great. 


WRITING LIFE


  In terms of strictly writing, this month hasn't been the greatest. I did not meet my goal of finishing up to chapter 20 in The Wandering, but I am okay with that. I have decided to save it for fall/winter and finish all of Part One before 2018. I have been steadily chipping away at Thin-Skinned (if only because it's my final project for school) and am starting chapter seven soon. It's been an interesting book to work on, but I'm slightly distracted from the process by the millions of other things that need doing. :P

  But, the most exciting writing news of the month is THE SORCERESS AND THE SQUID IS BEING PUBLISHED!!!

  I'm sure you've heard me go on and on about this, but honestly, I'm just absolutely thrilled and excited and astonished that this is actually happening!! I've got a Launch Team and Blog Tour planned and both an ebook and paperback version coming out. I just sent for my proof copy yesterday and I can't wait to receive it! To hold an actual book of mine completed, in my hands. This month I had a cover reveal as well as got the formatting finished so it's basically ready to go. Just waiting on release day... (June 18th)

Here is the cover again, in case I haven't shoved it in your face enough. XP


READING LIFE


I did myself proud and read 6 books this month (my biggest haul in forever). And they were all really, really great.

 TUCK EVERLASTING by Natalie Babbit

I read this on the way to Abby's grad in about an hour. I had been meaning to read it for awhile and wish I had sooner. It was a great story, short and obviously written for a younger demographic, yet one that totally resonates with you when you're older as well. Honestly, it got me thinking so much and made me really feel for the main characters. It was a very good book. 4.5/5
 LILITH by George MacDonald

It's easy to see where CS Lewis drew much of his inspiration, calling George MacDonald a mentor to him. This book was amazing. Very psychedelic and a little hard to get into and understand at first, but it definitely drew me in despite that. I have a thing for strange new worlds in which an unsuspecting character is dumped. I especially like it when you get a ton of very deep and interesting philosophical thoughts dumped in your lap at the same time. Read it. 5/5
 NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS by Philip Reeve

This was a quick book, probably for the 12-13 age range, but it was thoroughly enjoyable, chronicling the experience of a mute boy as he follows a dragon-slaying knight who doesn't believe dragons exist...or do they?
Short but sweet. 3.5/5
 THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher

Since I watched the show I felt it was only right to read the book. I was quite surprised. I discovered that the show, while not taking away or changing things from the book, really really added onto the book with the secondary characters and their own struggles. While this adds a lot of depth to the show, I am glad the book focuses only on Clay and Hannah - specifically Clay. The book is about him learning to reach out to those in need, and the message is brought home beautifully. I read it in one sitting. Definitely recommend. 4/5

THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE by Kara Swanson

I got to be part of the Launch Team for this yet-to-be-released book (coming out tomorrow!) and am so glad I did! Kara painted a beautiful story with a really interesting plot and characters to go with it. I fell in love with them and got very wrapped up in the story as a whole. Much praise for Kara and her book (especially that beautiful cover, wow!) My only complaint is that I wish it was longer, so as to experience more of the world and flesh it out. 4/5


THE TIME MACHINE by HG Wells

I've never read any HG Wells, so this was a new experience. I wasn't sure what to expect from a 19th century man travelling into the future - I was quite surprised by the results. It was very well-crafted and interesting and presented some very unique ideas, which I appreciate. 4/5






BLOGGING LIFE


  Even my blogging went pretty well this month I'd say...

  I posted about my #WestCoast2017 trip, the big reveal of The Sorceress and the Squid's impending publishing and got tagged by Andrea for The Writer's Tag. I had to miss a week due to my trip, but on the whole I've kept up my weekly blogging well. Quite a few cool things coming in the future...

  Blogging stats:


  • Followers: 23 (up from 17, wow! Thank you guys so much!!)
  • Pageviews: 6,797
  • Posts: 67


GOALS


Goals for May
  • One more chapter in The Wandering (I *think* this is a realistic goal). // It *was* realistic but, as I am wont to do, I changed my mind about it due to time constraints. Saving it for fall when I have ALL the time (jk, lol). 
  • Get The Sorceress and the Squid ready to send for formatting and prep for release (more info on this stuff COMING SOON). // Definitely did this and am well on my way to publishing! *squeals*
  • Definitely get as much done in Thin-Skinned as I can since I have to have a certain amount of pages finished for the end of my course next month. // I guess one chapter counts as "as much as I can?"
  • Read 2 books // I went above and beyond that one for sure. Yesss. 
Goals for June 

  • Get published! 
  • Get more bloggers to join my blog tour (as of now, I am very low on numbers so if you would like to join my blog tour, running from the 18-24th, that would be amazing and I will love you forever!)
  • Keep plugging away at Thin-Skinned
  • Read 2 books
  • Finish betas/ARC's 
Probably should stop there since I have a billion non-writing-related things to do as well. :P 

  
  Well, thanks for joining me on another monthly highlight reel. This month was pretty cool and so many things happened and there's so much going on. I'm feeling both overwhelmed and elated (jumping from both back and forth). This is going to be an awesome summer, I think. 

  How was your May? Are you wrapping up school now? Are you graduating? Do you have any cool summer vacations planned? Let me know!

26 comments:

  1. Seems like May was really busy for you! YOUR BOOK COVER *flails* it's SO good! And Tuck Everlasting just always made me cry for some reason, I will never ever outgrow that book.


    Trying to finish my novel "Song of the Prairie" by the end of the summer and its being bad haha. But I feel like God is calling me to do it so I def feel good about finishing it as well as beach visits, camp, summer courses and other fun stuff. Summer is going to be busy!

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    1. Oh yes, SO MUCH BUSY. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I'm so excited for it (as you can probably tell). It was definitely a sad book for sure, I really shipped Winnie and Jesse - wish they'd been able to get together! Sigh.

      Summer is a crazy time of year for sure. But that's awesome! Finishing a book is such a great feeling. What's it about?
      Ah, you go to camp?? Awesome! Me too, I spend my whole summer working there - love it.

      Do you have a blog link by any chance? :D

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    2. I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT TOO XD

      My book is basically based on a brother/sister relationship, BUTCHERED CUT RENDITION right there, haha you can find the decent one at my blog (My blog link, obviously :p) http://worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com/

      I ONLY WISH i was going to the same camp as you.*pout* But yes im going to be volunteering at my camp as well :)

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    3. I'm so happy to find your blog. I have literally stalked you the last two days XD Do you have a button my any chance?

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    4. Oooh! Your book looks so cool, what a unique idea! Also, I love your aesthetics - they are gorgeous. I tried to follow you on your blog but it kept giving me an error message? :/

      Ah, I love my camp (Camp Little Red), it's small but so fun, we've got a great group going. Being a camp volunteer is literally the best ever, good on you for signing up! You'll grow so much.

      Ah, that's so cool to hear you like my blog so much, thank you! Unfortunately, I do not have a button. :( I tried to make one recently but couldn't get it to look nice. How did you do yours?

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    5. Hmm that's too bad. You can try entering the link where you have your reading page. (has a edit blogs or something like that button) And thanks about my book! That means so much :)

      That's so cool! And i really agree with you, its such a wonderful experience.

      You know what? I used picarts and if you want I could definitely make one for you. Do you have an FB? We could talk there and I could design one with you. I'm happy to help you out because I really love to design things :)

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    6. Good idea! I did that and it seems to have worked, so that's good. :)

      Really? Would you? That would be so amazing, I would love you forever!! I do have Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/emily.mundell.988

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    7. Alrighty! Let's do this! XD I should be getting in touch with you sometime after the weekend :)

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    8. Thank you! I look forward to it.

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  2. Yes, May went by faster than the other months this year. *nods* Even faster than February! And that went by real fast.

    Oh my word, do you work with horses? That's soo cool! :D Yay! You're getting published! I'll definitely have to get your book. ;) Are you self publishing?

    I really like the books you read in May. I actually read Tuck Everlasting a couple months ago, and I read the Time Machine when I was in either 8th or 9th grade (I can't remember). Oh my goodness, do you read a lot of books by George MacDonald? I have soo many books by him, but I've only read a few of them. I have "Lilith" but I haven't read it yet.

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    1. No kidding! For me, it's June-September that flies by ridiculously quick, mainly because I get so busy. Shouldn't be any different this year! What do you do in your summers?

      I do!! Haha, it is pretty cool. I've loved horses since I was five years old and they are amazing creatures, they have taught me a lot.

      I am self-publishing! And I'm so, so excited (if you couldn't tell, lol)! Definitely check out my book, I think it's pretty nifty if I do say so myself. ;)

      Both Tuck Everlasting and The Time Machine were great. CS Lewis wrote a book called The Dark Tower that really reminded me of The Time Machine actually, except it's an unfinished manuscript that stops mid-sentence in the middle of the book - super frustrating!
      I have read I think four of George MacDonald's books and loved them all! He's such a great writer. However, Lilith is very, very different than any of his other books I've read. It's a lot darker and very psychedelic and sends a strong message of universalism, but I really enjoyed it. It made me think a lot. You should totally read it!

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    2. Well, I work at an overnight summer camp, so I live there for like 8 weeks out of the summer. It's a long time, but I have so much fun. :)

      I always wanted to learn how to ride a horse, since I love them. But we have like no stables around here that I could get involved in.

      Haha, I will! ;)

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    3. Wow! 8 weeks! That's impressive. Ours runs for 6 weeks and we get a couple days of break in between. It's definitely tiring, but you're right - super fun.

      That's a bummer! Do you have neighbor's with horses? You never know, they might love the excuse to get their ponies some exercise? :D

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    4. Well, the campers are only there for 6 weeks. The first week is staff training, and the week after is when we clean up camp and put everything away. But we get a day off every week.

      Um, I'm pretty sure there isn't anybody. I wish there was though.

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    5. Ah, makes sense. We have a staff training week as well, but there are some year-round staff who do clean up after every camp and end of the year of course. Wow, only one day! That would be really hard I think. Is it a Christian camp?

      Aw, I wish so too. :/ There are so many horses in Alberta so I guess I take that for granted sometimes.

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    6. Yeah, sometimes one day doesn't seem like enough. But so far we've survived every year, so yay! :) No, it's not a Christian camp, but the owners are Christians. Is yours a Christian camp?

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    7. Haha, survival is always nice. XD Do you have different groups of kids every week?
      That's pretty cool, yes ours is. It's been really great for my spiritual growth through my teen years. :D It's really nice to be under Christian leadership for sure.

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    8. Yeah, it is! XD No, camp is split into two three week sessions. So campers can either come for just three weeks or they can come for all six. Most only come for either first session or second session. But we do have a group of campers each session that come for just a week. It's basically so that they can try out camp to see if they're going to want to come for three weeks next year or not.
      Yeah, I wish I could have had more of that. You know, being under Christian leadership.

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    9. Oh wow! That's actually so cool. I would love the opportunity to work with the same group of kids that long. Ours change over every week.
      It's definitely a blessing.

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  3. It looks like you had a great May! =D Wow it looks gorgeous in Canada. And you work with horses? That's SO cool! I absolutely LOVE horses.... Just don't tell my dog. xD

    New follower. =)

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

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    1. Canada is amazing, I'm so lucky to live here. :) And yes, horses are amazing as well. Hehe, no worries - I won't tell him/her. ;)

      Thank you so much!! :D

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  4. I'm just not convinced that the water in Canada is EVER not cold. xD What's your typical upper temperatures for summer?

    Jem Jones

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    1. Hehe, true enough. But since we have such a low tolerance for heat, jumping in a cool/cold lake is very nice. XD

      We can get up to +40 celsius on a particularly warm day. But generally our midday summer temperature is between +20 and 30 degrees. Sometimes warmer, sometimes cooler. Unless I'm swimming I honestly can't stand much beyond +20. :P
      You're in Australia, right? I was there for 2 weeks in my spring/your fall and the weather was pretty tolerable for me at that time. It was a little rainy, but I like rainy.

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    2. 40 degrees is a [very] warm summer day where I live! (Australia, yes). *adjusts all formerly held beliefs about Canada* *because if you can handle 40 AND minus who-knows-WHAT, you're tougher than me* xD

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    3. It doesn't get that high very often. XD The highest it will pretty much ever seem to go is +40 and the lowest I've ever had it that I remember is -40...so yeah. Extreme temperatures. Hey, I didn't say I handled it well! ;)

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