Hello, hello, peoples! *tosses individually-wrapped chocolates into the air*
I don't even know when my last real post was. I'm afraid to look. XD I'm not even sure if it was an actual "real" post or a monthly recap post, since I feel like those are all I've done for at least a year. Well... guess what this is. XD
July was a blur. A great blur, for the most part, but man, I feel like this month that I'd been looking forward to for so long just whizzed by. Such is life, I suppose. It's just a shame you can't go back and revisit things when they're over.
which I realized I just ironically said in a monthly recap post... anyway, onto it. xD
I'm going to cheat a bit and go back farther than July, since I haven't updated you guys on what I've been reading for so long AND I only read one book in July (and not even the WHOLE book).
UNBLEMISHED TRILOGY by Sara Ella // I read the first book earlier this year and finished up the trilogy in June, I believe. I'd been wanting to read these for A WHILE, after reading a review of Unbreakable on a blog years ago (I can't remember which blog it was, sadly, but I think it was one of the first ones I discovered!). This was such a fun, unique, magical adventure! 4/5 stars!
THE WONDERLAND TRIALS by Sara Ella // I received an eARC of this one, and it was so good! The funny thing is, I've seen a bunch of people say that they're not big Wonderland fans in general, but they adored this book. And that was me- while I do like Alice in Wonderland, the place itself has always freaked me out a bit. XD But I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I recommend it even if you're not a Wonderland person- and certainly if you are!! 4/5 stars!
SHADOW OF HONOR by Ronie Kendig // Confession time: I don't think I can fully enjoy the Droseran Saga books until the whole series is out and I can reread them all, close together. XD Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy them, but man, there's just SO MUCH and my little brain can't comprehend all of it. Still, if you're a sci fi/space opera fan, you should give these books a try. Although... prepare to be traumatized. Or angry. (I mean that in the best way, of course...) 4/5 stars!
First off, I had two stories published with Havok in July! *confetti* This was super exciting for me, for several reasons. One, it's my first time ever having more than one Havok story out in a single month. Two, they were both in genres I hadn't previously been published in. And three- with these two stories, I've now been published under all FIVE Havok genres!!
This might not sound like a huge deal, but it's something I've been hoping to accomplish for a whiiile now. And though the number of authors who have reached this milestone has grown to more than just a small handful now, I'm so honored to be a part of it! (Last I checked, I believe there were about 15 who have done it?)
If you're a Havok member and didn't get to read my stories last month, here they are!
And if you're not a Havok member... go ahead and become one. It's only $5 and you can access all the stories year-round. ;)
Elsewhere on the writing front- I've been working on Look for the Flares! No surprise there, I know, since it's been my main WIP for the past almost-year. I'm slowly working my way through some suuuper rough rewrites, working out some story problems and getting things in place to go back and polish over later. It's a bit daunting and I don't know how long it'll take, but I'm excited. With every little piece that comes together, I get more excited. (have I ever mentioned how much I love this story?) The other day I sat down with this WIP and very low expectations, and ended up having an idea that might fix one of the problems I had, and wrote a great scene that I think will make way for other great scenes... yeah, things are moving. And it's fantastic.
The big happening in July was none other than Realm Makers! It was my second time attending, and though in ways it was vastly different from last year, it was just as amazing. I won't talk much about that, because I do hope to get a full Realm Makers recap up soon. But it was a wonderful time, and I can't wait to do it again. ♥
Because of Realm Makers being across the country from me this time, I got to do some traveling for the first time in a while! Like last year, it was my brother and one of my sisters making the trip with me, and we had planned to see and do some things in different states, since we were so close. Not everything worked out the way we'd hoped (apparently in New York City, to "reserve a parking spot" means something different than it does in Missouri #itsalongstory), but it was still a great trip, and I got to see so many new places.
To start with, we visited the Arch in St. Louis on the first morning of our trip. Not a huge deal on the surface, because we don't live super far and have seen the Arch in passing many times. BUT my brother and I decided to get out and actually go SEE it, which we've certainly never done, and we walked right up to the base and touched it. It was strangely surreal, standing right underneath this monument I've lived 70 miles from my whole life but never actually visited.
But the main highlight of the trip was, for sure, New York City. With it being only a couple of hours away from where Realm Makers was, we just had to swing up and see it. Though our visit wasn't quite what we'd planned, it was still fantastic and I'm glad we did it. (though if you ever plan to walk through Central Park, make sure you're not carrying a bunch of stuff with you AND it's not like 90 degrees. XD) I would also not recommend driving around New York City if you're not experienced at such a thing... we got very, very lost somewhere in Manhattan and ended up in Brooklyn.
I'm just a kid from- Then we got unlost from there and ended up on Staten Island somehow?? Yeah, it was interesting. xD Prepare yourself for an NYC photo dump.
NYC skyline- this was an absolutely insane experience. We didn't know what it was at first, but we knew we were getting closer to NYC, and then I started realizing I recognized some of the building silhouettes up ahead. I pointed out the World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building, and it was just absolutely crazy to realize we were looking at the New York City skyline.
Just a couple Grants at (Ulysses S.) Grant's tomb. ;)
One World Trade Center
Bethesda Fountain in Central Park- this is the fountain from the end of the That's How You Know number in Enchanted!!
Bethesda Terrace - and THIS is where the Avengers stood in the ending scene of The Avengers! FANGIRLING. We sadly were running short on time and didn't get to go up to the top, but we walked right under it.
|Yup, that's the spot!|
Statue of Balto!
The Statue of Liberty! Trust me, it's there. You just have to look really close. xD We were escaping the city after being lost for way too long and just happened to get a good look at the statue on our way by. I looked at her right as a perfect bolt of lightning struck behind her and it was epic.
The Brooklyn Bridge- aka, the one Spider-man left a love note on for Gwen Stacy. :')
Before leaving Atlantic City after Realm Makers, I wanted to go down and see the ocean and the boardwalk. I only had a minute to take some pictures and enjoy the view, but it was lovely. Now next time I play Monopoly with my family, I expect to get Boardwalk, because I'm the only one who's officially walked on it. XD
I had this idea months ago- Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, one of my favorte horse-y movies, takes place partly in Atlantic City, so I wanted to take a picture of the movie there. My original plan was to do it in front of the Steel Pier, where Sonora Webster actually did her horse diving in real life, but we didn't go down that far, so here's a nice picture of it in front of a random spot in Atlantic City with a tiiiny bit of the boardwalk in the background. XD
On the trip home, we drove through Philadelphia and saw Independence Hall (though it didn't work out to tour it and see the Liberty Bell like we'd hoped), and funny story: we spotted C.J. and Clint Redwine walking down the street as we passed by. XD #realmiesighting
Later we drove through Washington D.C. and saw the Washington Memorial (which was disappointingly Spider-man-less), the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court- basically everything but the Lincoln Memorial, which we think we drove past the back of but were too distracted with being lost and stressed out to notice. XD Yeah... we got really lost in D.C. Like, we left the place and ended up back in about three, four times I believe? And it was getting dark and we weren't as far as we'd planned on being that day, and we still had to find a motel for the night... So that was a fun time. But eventually we got out, and got to see the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery in passing! (I'll spare you the photos since I already shared so many from New York, but you're not missing much because after you take so many photos of something, you realize it looks exactly the same as it does in any photo on Google. xD)
Our plan had been to stay in Pennsylvania that night, but timing said no, so we ended up in a motel in Maryland instead. xD The next day was just a loooong day of driving, though we did take a little detour to swing by the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. We got home super late that night, very happy to be back in our own beds. It was an absolutely whirlwind of a trip, but I'm so glad we got to do everything we did.
The last thing I did in July was arguably the best thing I've done all year. Little backstory: as a teenager, I became an avid fangirl of the Big Time Rush TV show on Nickelodeon and in turn, of course, the real-life band behind it. My best friend and I talked about them all the time, and man, how we wished we could go to one of their concerts. I was jealous of each and every fan who got to do so, and when the band separated after the show ended, I was so sad. For years, I would Google them from time to time just to see if they were getting back together. XD
Fast forward to July 2021, and Big Time Rush announced they were getting back together. Fast forward again to February 2022, and they announced a summer tour. THAT was the moment I'd been waiting for, because I'd promised myself for years that if they ever went on tour again, I would go, no matter what.
Well, Sunday, July 31, my teenage dreams came true. :') I had amazing seats, closer than I'd ever dreamed I'd be able to be. From the moment the banner dropped and the show started, to when I walked out of the venue, I sang my heart out and had the time of my life. I was so much closer than my pictures make it look and got to see all four members right in front of me so clearly so many times throughout the night. Also got nailed in the head by a giant beach ball. xD It was a literally amazing night and I missed it the moment it was over. (Plus my favorite member walked approximately four feet away from me during the concert so that was fun, even if he DIDN'T reach out and touch my hand rude)
So, yeah, it'd be pretty darn hard to beat that experience. And I've been sad ever since it ended, because I literally counted down the days for so long and then it was over in two hours and I already want to see them again. :')
|None of my pictures turned out that great but LOOK AT THEM :')|
|There was confetti and I collected some and am keeping it forever and ever|
I'm hoping to get my Realm Makers recap up in the next week or two, so stay tuned for that! Until next time, have a happy August!
So friends, how was your July? Anyone else eagerly awaiting the first hints of fall?? And what's your favorite book you've read recently?