Monthly Highlights - August

Sunday, August 30, 2015



I'm just semi-freaked out that there are only FOUR months left in the year, and NaNoWriMo is in THREE months. *ahhh* 

Onto the highlights!

- School isn't going QUITE as bad as I thought it would. (It still is bad, mom, don't get all hopeful.) Being homeschooled helps a lot and if I stay focused, I still have the time for reading and writing and blogging and all that fun stuff.

- Editinggg. So much editing. ALL the editing. I was planning to do 800 words a day, but then Aimee *looks pointedly* convinced me to try for her insane goal which is over 2,000 words a day. *dies* *but really I'm excited* 

- I went to my first writer's conference! Basically the best experience everrr.

- I discovered the band Twenty One Pilots and have been listening to them excessively. *looks pointedly at Aimee again* xD

- This just made me laugh really, really, hard: 

- I "leisurely" started another novel. (*gasp*) It's going to be written by hand, (*another gasp*) so when I don't have my computer around and feel the need to write, I'll work on that. I don't really have a deadline (I kinda do, actually. Hoping to finish it by the end of the year.), but you can view all the progress of my writing goals on myWriteClub. 
It's an amazing resource and you should all sign up for it and add me as a friend so we can encourage each other with our goals. It's free!

It looks like this and is quite awesome.
- Vacationnnn! I had bunches of books I wanted to take along so packing went really quickly:

'cause it was all with books.

Our family does only carry on luggage for plane trips, so I managed to fit all those books plus clothes and other stuff. (I did have a backpack smushed with books, too.)

Vacationing also included mountain hikes and writing on the mountains (!!), hiking in 101 degrees and getting sand flying at your face (research, I guess), pizza, lots of time for editing, and rock climbing and other fun adventures. :p

- Fall is comingggg! Summer and I aren't very good friends, so I'm excited for fall, autumn, or whatever you call it.

- And my dad is sometimes rather hilarious so I had to share this with you. xD 

Dad: *points to the model* See that over there? 
Me: Yeah. 
Dad: I modeled for it. 

- - -
All these books are for a vacation and I FIT them
in my suitcase. (Yes, I did bring clothes, and no, my
suitcase is not the size of a zebra.)

At the beginning of the month, this happened: 

Book total for August:  FOURTEEN.
(Two better than last month, so that's exciting.)

favorites of the six above

Favorite Book: Gahhh, this is a hard one. Between Challenger Deep and Legend, but Challenger Deep made me cry so I'm going with that one. :p 

Favorite Cover: Challenger Deep. *flails because THAT BOOK* Amazingness.

Favorite Character: Day from Legend. He was just a really awesome character. xD

favorites of these six

Favorite Book: OH this is hard. I devoured We Were Liars, Half a King, and Bruiser. Really, I ate them all up in a day. Bruiser and We Were Liars also brought tears so there's that. xD 

Favorite Cover: Despite not finishing the book, An Ember in the Ashes is just very, very gorgeous. I had fun taking pictures of it: 

Favorite Character: I'm asking myself really hard questions and I don't like it. I loved all the characters in Bruiser, but Yarvi really sticks out to me from Half a King. He was strong in a weak way despite the circumstances and I just really admire that. :p

I also beta read two books, and one was SO amazing and made me cry more than any other book before and I'm still recovering from it but... it's awesomeness. xD

- - -

 Imogen ALSO posted some super amazingly helpful links for working with beta readers.

AIMEE and CAIT both have new blog designs and you must check them out. (Be warned, you might get jealous.)

Emily asks... when do you buy books?

- - -



- - -

- Katie Grace

That was a long post but hopefully it was a little bit interesting and not insanely boring. (Do you enjoy these types of posts, or is it just me?) 
I seemed to have cried because of a lot of books this month, so which books have made you cry?


  1. Is that Jackaby in your suitcase? Is it? Because I think it is and YES. I loves Jackaby, both the book and the character. I obsess over it ridiculously.
    Also, I'm glad you're writing by hand. *nods* That's awesome.
    And to answer your question . . . I can't think of any books that've made me cry. Ok, scratch that. I may have teared up a little during Penderwicks on Gardam Street, but that's the only one. I don't cry. I yell. A lot. Unless I can't really blame anyone for what happened and it hurts too much to blame the author.

    1. IT IS. I just started reading it last night and already love it. <3
      I think it's awesome. It's also daunting, but it's something I've wanted to try, so what's a better time than now? :p
      Ooh, yelling, yes. I don't yell, but I DO get angry and drop books or put them away until I've calmed down enough to read them. *cough* Firefight by Brandon Sanderson. *cough*

  2. Twenty One Pilots are AMAZING. yesss, another person hooked *fistbump* ;)

    Great post!

  3. Wow—you clearly have some awesome packing skills to get all those books in your suitcase with everything else! Me, I took the lazy way to bring 50 books with me on vacation and brought my Kindle. XD Anyway, I liked this month's posts on Why Do We Call Writing Hard? and of course, your blogoversary post. I hope that school, blogging, reading, and writing only improve as we move into September?

    1. It was easier than it looked. xD
      I knowww. My parents kept telling me to bring a Kindle, but I don't have all the books on my Kindle that I got from the library, and I REALLY wanted to read those, so I just went the old fashioned route. :p
      Thank you! I hope the same goes for you. :D

  4. School. *cough* School starts in a few days for me and I'm in public school and I'm crying inside because my wonderful summer break is over but I'm also realizing that I have to think positively and so therefore I shall think of all the good things that happened in the summer and try to realize that I shouldn't let school stress me out too much and it's what I make of it and yea. <== That way too long rambly sentence accurately sums up my feelings.

    Your vacation sounds like so much fun. I've pretty much given up trying to pack books for vacation because I never end up reading them. And wow! Five books in two days? HOW?!?

    Oh...that's why your goal for A Twisted Star is 330 pages. I was shocked when I saw it on myWriteClub. It's still an ambitious goal, especially since you're writing the whole thing by hand. I would love to try that someday, but it also scares me. Is this new novel sci-fi?

    Yes! I'm so excited for NaNoWriMo! I'll miss the cabins that we have in Camp NaNoWriMo, but it will still be a ton of fun! I'm not sure whether to tackle a new MG sci-fi idea, a new historical fiction idea, the fourth draft of my YA sci-fi or the second draft of my Five Magic Spindles novella. So many stories and so little time!

    1. Uff. I give you allll my sympathy. *pats* If you ever need Word Wars, I'll be here for them. *nods*

      I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW. It was on a Saturday/Sunday, so I had boatloads of time and that's basically all I did for those two days. It was surprisingly exhausting, but I felt oddly proud by the books I had consumed. :p

      *nods* Yeah, I've figured out that an average handwritten page is around 270 words, so if I do 330 of those, it'll be roughly 90,000. I have a feeling this novel will be shorter than that, but maybe with rewrites and everything it'll turn out to be longer. *shrug*
      I know. It scares me, too, so I've tried to take a "eh, who cares how fast I finish this novel" approach. (Though, it's really hard to do that when I have secret goals in mind.)
      YES! It's sci-fi, and I'm reallyyy excited about it. I'll share more on the blog when I gather my thoughts about it. ;)

      Yeah. I LOVE NaNoWriMo, but it just isn't the same with cabins. *sniff* Ooh. o.o That's... That's a lot of different possibilities. Whoah. :p Good luck to you! :D

  5. I love these types of posts--I don't know, I don't do them, but they feel so organized and professional, and I might do them if I were organized or professional. But gah, NaNoWriMo is descending like a stormcloud of awesomeness and I think I left the windows in the car open. *runs around screaming like a lunatic*

    Anyway, your dad is hilarious, and I'm seriously impressed that you were able to fit all those books in your luggage. (Is your suitcase bigger on the inside, perchance?)

    Also, I was homeschooled, and I totally get how cool it is for reading and writing. During my last two years of high school, I wrote a book and edited a book a year which was something I'm not sure I could have managed without the flexible scheduling and relaxed atmosphere of the homeschooling environment. :)

    1. Okay, good. I really like reading them on other blogs for some reason, but am always worried that I make them super boring. xD
      AHHHH I KNOW! :p

      He seriously is. I need to start writing down all his quote and start a new section: "Monthly quotes from Katie's dad."
      (Ah, but it is.)
      (And there were other pockets, and my bag, and I only took nine instead of the twelve pictured.)

      That's... That's really impressive, actually. I can write a book in a year, but editing takes SO much longer, so it's hard to do that, too. Good for you. :D

  6. Haha, this is an awesome post! Kudos to you for your insane packing skills. Wanna come help me pack for Florida in November?! ;) You go, girlfriend. Also...RESPECT for handwriting your novel. One of my CPs handwrites her ALL of her first drafts and I think that's incredible.

    You're the bestest, Katie. Keep writing.

    1. Ooh, Florida? I'll pack enough room so I can fit in your suitcase, girl! ;)
      Ah, thank you! :D I can already tell that it's going to go a LOT slower, but it's on my bucket list, so why not work on crossing that off now?

      Aww, thank you! *hugs* I shall, and make sure you do the same. ;)

  7. Ooooh-- so jealous of your crazy awesome packing skills. I'm hoping to go to the library before leaving for the beach next week and checkout lots of books that I've been wanting to read for forever, and if that happens, I'll need packing skills like that. O_O

    What books made me cry? I'm risking a guess that they're two of the ones that made /you/ cry, namely, "Challenger Deep" and Aimee's "Pariah". (Am I right? It's totally just a guess that Pariah was even one of the books you beta-read...) This was a comparatively tearful month for me, as I've NEVER cried over books before...

    1. I WISH YOU LUCK. I packed in all my clothes first and then SQUEEZED in the books and they managed to fit somehow. xD (And have fun at the beach!)

      Ohhh. They're both *such* heartbreaking books! (Yes. I read Pariah. Yes. It was amazing. Yes. I need to read it a million of times. *dies*) As much as I hate it, I actually love crying over books in a twisted sort of way because it makes me FEEL things and therefore remember the story a lot more.

  8. Books that made me cry? No, that never happens... -.- Okay, yeah... This time it was A Time to Die... But I've cried about other books, too... :-/ They're always epic... :-P

    1. Ohhh. A Time to Die.

      Yeah. I get that. xD

  9. I laughed at your pack job - Kindle anyone? :)

    Also - books that made me cry? Hmmm.... more than I'd like to admit. The Hiding Place, Bridge to Terabithia, Fault in our Stars, the last Harry Potter book, The Kite Runner, etc.

    Most David Sedaris books have made me cry from laughing so hard. I prefer that kind of crying. I always seem to be reading one on a plane though. It's embarrassing to be laughing so hard you're crying when there's a stranger sitting so close to you that your arms are touching.

    Good luck with the 100 lb. suitcase!

    1. Pfft, Kindles are overrated. ;)

      Oh, Bridge to Terabithia made me SOB. I was reading it at home and then my dad called on the phone right after the... part ...and I was doing all I could to not break out crying. Later he told me that I sounded off, though. :p

      That sounds awesome. I've never actually laughed that hard from a book before. It's mostly a chuckle/chortle/snorting sound. Someday I will find a book that will make me laugh that hard. xD

      I've survived so far with it!

  10. Hey! This is an awesome blog post!!! What songs do you like from Twenty One Pilots? I want to check them out because I've never heard of them before.

    1. By the way, when I moved once, I packed at least 3 thick books and about 50 something comics (which is probably the amount of 5-6 thick books). Anyways, my suitcase was the second heaviest one (I think it weighed like 60 something pounds).

    2. Um, all of the songs? :p Heh. That's actually really hard to choose. Car Radio, Holding on to You, and Trees are some of the ones I like best. But, really, you can't go wrong with any of them. xD

      Dude. O.O That's a heavy suitcase. Did you read all of them? :p

    3. I haven't, yet. Though some of the comics (like 30 of them) I had already read. I also keep reading a lot of stuff on my Kindle app.

  11. I enjoy these posts :)
    I think the only book that has made me cry was The Boxcar Children prequel by Patricia Maclachlan *rushes off because ANW is back and Jessie Graff is on :D*

    1. Yayyy! Good to hear. ;)
      Huh. I haven't read that one. *wonders why it was sad* Maybe it had something to do with the parents? It's been so long since I've read any of The Boxcar Children that I don't remember if they ever explained how the parents died. :p

  12. I am... so in awe of the amount of books you have managed to fit into that suitcase. Honestly, I feel like a bit of a wimp - I always carry my Kindle on vacation so that I don't have to lug around a tonne of books (often literally!), so this is quite hardcore. ;) I adore 21P, as well - they write such gorgeous music, and I'm so glad you've gotten into them. <3

    Books that made me cry: oh god, SO MANY. (I am one of those people who cries at the drop of the hat. Which one hand: very handy onstage, but on the other: not so handy IRL!) The first that I can remember is Bridge to Terabithia, and the last, I believe, is We Need to Talk About Kevin. Both terrifyingly beautiful reads.

    1. Yeah. Kindles ARE handy, but for some reason I enjoy real books SO much more. It's just... not the same. *sigh*
      Ahhh, yes. All the lovely songs. <3

      Books don't make me cry *too* terribly often (except for all the books this month, of course), but movies are the ones where I cry at EVERYTHING. Happy moments. Sad moments. Ugh, so emotional. xD
      Bridge to Terabithia... *sobs* Have you seen that movie? I don't think I've ever cried so hard. xD

  13. OMG, myWriteClub is so cool! I joined and followed you. ;) Super useful!
    And that bird... O.o Oh my gosh, I would be so freaked out staring back at it I would forget to whip out my camera! Lol. That made me laugh really hard.
    Lol. Your dad sounds so funny. That sounds like something my dad would do. :D
    Congrats on 14 books! Hopefully I could read more books this coming month. Even though I'm home-schooled, school still takes a lot of time away. Luckily, I can get my work done pretty quickly. ;) It's a perk!

    1. RIGHT?! *follows you back*
      I know. xD I saw it on Pinterest and couldn't stop laughing once I saw the pin. :p
      Yay for hilarious dads! *high fives*

      Definitely a perk! Don't think I'll be able to read that many books this month -- I really want to try to do a better job on blogging, and reading takes up a lot of time. :p

  14. oh my gosh, i LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Legend, i actually bought the two sequels less than a month ago, its devistating the way the last one ends. I also read the whole matched series, the last one was definately the hardest to get through, a fair amount of it was just really slow

    1. Oh no. o.o Devastation doesn't sound good. Don't tell me how it ends, though! Did you hear that they're making a movie out of it? *excited squeal*
      Ah, yeah. I probably won't ever get to the last one if I thought the second one was already super slow. :p

    2. i know right, i just hope they don't ruin it, like they did with most of the harry potter movies, and the first hunger games, i haven't seen or read the last two, but i mean the movie was good, but it wasn't what i was hoping for exactly, they left a lot of information out. They are also making "the selection" like my largest obsession right now into a movie. it was already partially on TV, i saw part of it on YouTube, and it stank, like they changed everything in it!!!!!!

    3. Yeah. Hopefully. *crosses fingers*
      Really? o.O *didn't hear about The Selection* Huh. I enjoyed the first book, but didn't get into it enough to read the second two.

  15. Oh, and I have a random question that is entirely unrelated to this post. Well, actually, since you mentioned Realm Makers here, I guess it's related. But anyway, (oh dear, my tendency towards long rambly comments is already kicking into high gear) would it be okay to attend Realm Makers with a novel that doesn't have anything inherently Christian about it? Of course my current sci-fi WIP is clean and written from a Christian worldview, but I guess it's more...general market? My historical fiction idea, on the other hand, includes faith as a big part of the plot, but it's not speculative fiction. I'm not sure if you know the answer to this (if not, it's fine), but I wanted to ask just in case!

    1. Ooh, yay for Realm Makers questions! (*whispers* Are you thinking of going? *really hopes that you are*)
      Okay. So, if you're pitching, there was only one agent who agents both secular and Christian fiction novels, and everyone else (that I can remember. :p) just publishes Christian fiction. (Cause it is a Christian fiction conference.)

      Just for the conference itself... I think it's a GREAT first conference to go to. Everyone is super kind, and there's just something comforting about being around a bunch of other Christians. Some classes are specifically for Christian fiction (There was one theology class and how to preach without telling it to your audience.), but most were just super interesting classes in general that anyone writing could take something from.

      So, definitely DEFINITELY okay to attend, but if you're pitching for the general market, you might not have great luck.

      I would really LOVE to see you there. :D

  16. It sounds like you had a really fun month. ^ ^ So many books and so much writing! I'm glad you got some progress in and I too am so ready for fall lol. Summer and I don't get along either. XD

    1. So glad someone else doesn't like summer, either. :p

    2. man, do i got you. I'd definitely prefer spring or fall, spring first though. I absolutely adore the rain

  17. Thank you, this was a really helpful essay. Look over this article for ideas Spacebar Clicker Game. It's an easy game, but it's hard.


don't be shy to hang out in the comment section!
make frens, check back for my replies, keep things clean, shout about pizza, squeal about books, moan about editing... all that cool stuff.