Monthly Highlights - November

Monday, November 30, 2015
This month was crazy, crazy, crazy insane, but it's finally coming to an end. NaNo was the best and worst decision of my life. *collapses tiredly* xD 

(I've been collapsing a lot this month. It'll get better in December. I promise. :P) 

T h e    H i g h l i g h ts 

Well, I mean NaNo was pretty much the biggest thing of the month. A highlight, but it lost its fun pretty quickly. xD 

I went with my family to see the play Phantom of the Opera! *starts singing dramatically* We don't see plays very often, so it was fun and a really good play. :D 

I started the TV show, LOST. *insert dramatic music for absolutely no reason* I just finished the first season and it has already made me cry, scream, laugh, and sob. Ugly sob. It's pretty amazing. xD

We (my family) don't get too crazy over Black Friday shopping, but we usually go to one store Thursday night. This year we went to Best Buy and got Inside Out because it was cheap and its an amazing movie we've been wanting to own for a while. We stood in line for an hour and a half for that one movie, but... Ah well. :P

Christmas decorations! We don't do much for decorating, but we have our Christmas tree and stockings and it just generally feels nice. :)
B o o k   T h i n g s

Since NaNo has been taking up ALL OF MY TIME, I've only read ONE book this month. *sigh* It was A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. Amazingly epic and I read it it one day. xD I deserted NaNo but I don't care.

BUT, after NaNo ends, I'm going to turn December into a reading month (despite the tons of editing I'll be doing... -.^). The books I'll be reading: 

- Cinder
- Scarlet 
- Cress
- Winter 
     [all by Marissa Meyer]
- A Monster Calls 
     [Patrick Ness]
- Illuminae 
     [Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff]
- Walk on Earth a Stranger 
     [Rae Carson]
- Six of Crows 
     [Leigh Bardugo]

I'm totally going to read more than the list above, but these are the books I want to read for sure. So if any of you have some epic recommendations for me to read... *cough cough* *coughs very loudly* 

I bought five books this month (picture before) and in turn used up the rest of my Amazon giftcard. *sniff* Buuuut, Christmas approaches eventually... And I WON'T buy anymore books until then, so if you see me doing so, yell at me or something. xD

// A Monster Calls + Cinder + A Time to Speak + Dreams of Caladria + Illuminae //

A Monster Calls is actually going to be made into a movie, so before I see it (even though it's not coming out until later 2016, I think) I want to read it. It's made people cry and I've heard super good things about it. (Plus I always love books that make me cry...) 

Here's the trailer:

Definitely a teaser trailer since it doesn't tell you much, but I like it already.
T h e   W o r l d   o f   W r i t i n g



This is the first time I've written a novel longer than 100,000 words. o.O 

So now I'm just typing furiously today so I can finish my novel by midnight. (!!) I'M SO EXCITED. 

This month was awesome, though. NaNoWriMo brings all these writers together to shoot for a crazy insane goal, and I got to "hang" out warring with my lovely online writing buddies ALL month. I had such a blast. 

So, a special thank you to all my Word War buddies! I didn't realize there were so many people I warred/sprinted with throughout this month until I started writing down all the names. (yes, some of them are duplicate names, and yes, that was purposeful because they just have the same name. xD) I don't think I actually really wrote this month without warring someone... o.O 

nadine // anna // faith // hannah // athelas // anna // petra // sierra // aimee // emily // emily // krissy // adrianna // rachael // patience // sierra // bethany // erika

*exhausted sigh* I have done so much writing this month, that I am just done. xD *collapses* I am ready to go into hibernation mode and just read and sleep and eat pizza and generally do nothing for all of December. 

BUT, I will resist. December will be used outlining my new plot development, letting The Sand Dragon's Song rest in it's word document, and start continuing the edits of Song of the Desert. (Though I will also try to read an insane amount of books so I will have some fun. :D) 
  R a m b l i n g s   o f   t h e   M o n t h

So, remember at the end of last month I said that I was going to also do a Blogspot Blogger Design post sometime in November? 

Well, that didn't happen. So, I'm going to do it in December. Don't fear -- it'll come! 

My four posts about NaNo: 

O t h e r   A w e s o m e   P o s t s

So I was basically a horrible blogger friend this month. With NaNo, I couldn't comment on all the blogs and keep track of all the posts, but I did read/stalk my Bloglovin' feed throughout the month, so I'm caught up! I'm looking forward to being around the blogosphere more in December again. Buuut, there are some posts that stuck out to me that I remembered to link to. (It's actually more of a blog shout out this month, but oh well.)

My awesome friend and loyal commenter, Anna Holden, is starting a blog! *dances around* It's called The Everstorm Comes (epic name, yes?) Her first post will be next Saturday, SO GO FOLLOW IT NOW SO YOU CAN READ IT! *will reward you with cookies if you follow* *go ahead* *go follow it* *thank you* ;)

Rachelle has returned to the blogosphere with a reading and writing themed GIVEAWAY

Now I'm double the happy, because Ana has returned to the blogging world as well! I've missed her bookish and writing posts. :)

Cait's post on "what writer's are really trying to say" was so fabulous. It made me laugh and I can related to everything.

T h i n g s   t o   C o m e!

In December: (WAHT. IT'S DECEMBER TOMORROW. LIKE, HOW?! *tries to calm self*) 

   - Definitely a blogspot blogger design post, again. Last time people seemed interested in sidebars, so I'll share my thoughts on that. 

   - The year in review. My year in books, writing, blogging, life... Just kind of a GIANT wrap up post with some cool stats because stats are awesome. xD 
       - Also, maybe a survey to see what you guys are most interested in for the new year and such? *shrug*

(That's all the posts I have planned out for now, but there will be more.) 

If you don't remember what my posting schedule is, it's EVERY Saturday. If I have an extra post to write in the month, it will be on Tuesday. Otherwise the Monthly Highlights post will be up on the last day of the month no matter what day it is. :) 

- - -

- Katie Grace

Any books I HAVE to read over Christmas break? I'd love recommendations!
What are you looking forward to in December? (Anything besides Christmas? ;)

- - -
                                                            CONNECT WITH ME!


  1. Ahaha. Here I was feeling good that I'd actually written something this month, even if I absolutely failed NaNo, and then you come along with a word count 10x the size of mine. I must applaud that. That is astounding. I would probably also be collapsing frequently if that was me.

    I love your blog, by the way. I've been silently stalking it for the last few months, and decided it was time that I came out of hiding. So hi!

    As for your question about December, I'm looking forward to helping out with a reading programme at my local library. Listening to kids read books to me for hours? Yes please!

    ~Tessa Ann

    1. But I admire anyone who continues writing throughout the month of November and gets SOME words. Seriously. You rock. *high five*

      Awww. Yay! So glad you came out of hiding -- I like it when I get to talk to new people and make new friends. Greetings, Tessa! ;)

      Ooh, that sounds like fun! So the kids read books to you instead of you reading books to them? Huh, cool. How old are most of the kids? :)

    2. Thank you! I do feel rather pleased that I actually wrote something, since it had been a while since I had. *returns high five*

      I'm glad I came out of hiding too! It's always fun to actually talk to bloggers, rather than just reading their posts.

      Yup, it is fun! I used to participate in it when I was a kid. Basically the kids come in and talk to you about what they've read, and read some of it to you. They're between the ages of four and ten. It's the first time I've been a helper, so I'm really excited about it :-D

  2. Ooo, I want to read A Time To Speak SO bad, but I actually haven't been able to get my hands on A Time To Die yet (though I REALLY want to), so ... sometime :). And I feel like I should read Cinder some time too ...
    Anyways, I would recommend these books: The Blue Door by Christa Kinde, Prophet by R.J. Larson, and Counted Worthy by Leah E. Good (though I actually haven't quite finished Counted Worthy yet, what I have read of it is quite good!).
    GOOD GRIEF, I cannot believe how much you wrote! I don't know if I would be able to write that much in ONE month! HOORAY FOR YOU, KATIE! *dances an embarrassingly enthusiastic celebration dance for Katie*
    In December, I'm looking forward to performing at our church talent show with my sisters, watching my little sisters perform at their piano recital, and making Christmas cookies to give to neighbors and friends (a tradition we do almost every year), among other things :). What are you looking forward to?
    ~Savannah Perran

    1. Sometimes if you request a book at your library they'll get it. That's what I did for A Time to Die and they got it. :P

      Ooh, I've heard of all three! I've looked up The Blue Door on the library site but they don't have it... *sniff*

      THANK YOU SO MUCH. *dances embarrassingly so you don't feel alone* Still haven't finish the book... FIVE HOURS. *pants*

      Ooh, Church talent show? What will you be doing for it? Singing?

      Ack, so much I'm looking forward to! Mostly READING. And some friends I haven't seen for over a year are hopefully visiting. So that'll be fun. :)

    2. Well then, I might need to request A Time To Die so that I can finally read it!
      Aw, it's too bad that The Blue Door isn't at your library :(. It's a really good book, almost all my family read it and loved it!
      Yeah, all my siblings and I will be singing a medley of songs together. We love singing, so it's fun when we can do it for a talent show!
      Were you able to finish your book?
      ~Savannah Perran

    3. Maybe I should request The Blue Door at my library... :)

      YES I FINISHED MY BOOK. *collapses* 105,622 words total. :D I'M SO EXCITED AND EXHAUSTED EEEP.

    4. AAAAAH, YOU FINISHED THE BOOK!!!!! *flails wildly* HOORAY!!!! You did SO great, Katie! I can't believe how much you wrote in just a month! It's CRAZY! Good for you!
      ~Savannah Perran

  3. I LOVED WRITING WITH YOU THIS MONTH :D (even though we didn't really get to war that much...) And, CONGRATULATIONS!! 100K is WOW. I'm still stunned for you... AHHH. One series that I would really recommend would be The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan. It's SO good.
    I'm looking forward to endless Christmas music, family time, Christmas decorations, caroling, and (hopefully) SNOW.
    (And, psst, if you're looking for any beta readers... I'M HERE!! *raises both hands*)

    1. YES IT WAS FABULOUS! The two wars or so that we did. xD We'll just have to make up for it with Camp NaNo or the next NaNo. *nods*

      I've already read the Ranger's Apprentice series. And I liked them! So good recommendation. :P

      Snow. Blah. I like how snow's all pretty, but it's COLD and WET and hard to drive in and I just don't like snow very much. :P Ooh, do you go caroling? That's awesome.

      *spots both of your hands* *blushes and grins* *notes this*

  4. I had lots of fun warring with you as well. You can do it!!!

  5. I'm looking forward to all of your December posts :)

  6. Congrats on finished NaNo! That's a pretty epic word count. :)

    Also, Lost is an amazing show. If you had that reaction after season 1, just you wait. heh heh heh.... :P I want to go back and rewatch it all someday.

    1. Thank you, Claire! :D

      YES. LOST IS AMAZING. "Just you wait...." -- basically everyone's reactions once I tell them that I'm watching Lost. I feel like I should be nervous. xD



  8. Way to go on your word count!! That is an amazing accomplishment!!
    It looks like you've got a pretty good book list there!
    I look forward to reading a ton. Also sewing. I didn't have any time to sew during November but I have a lot of projects I want to do.
    Thanks for the update! I look forward to your posts in December!!

    1. Thank you sooo much! :D

      Ooh, sewing? That's neat. What are some of the projects you're thinking of working on?
      Yay! I look forward to your posts as well. :)

    2. Doll dresses mainly. I make my book characters main outfit into a doll dress so that while writing the book I have a visual to go off of. =) Do you sew?

    3. That's so cool!
      No... I don't sew. I think I've only ever used a sewing machine once. :P But it's something that I wish I can do. Oh well. Writing takes up most of my time anyways. xD

    4. Well, maybe someday you'll learn. =) Probably the only reason I learned to sew as early as I did was because I was the last in a line of four sisters who sewed so I didn't want to get left out. ;D
      Writing is pretty awesome. I spend more of my time doing it.. =)

  9. Aw, thank you so much for mentioning me in your post. :)

    I've wanted to read Cinder for some time now, but I haven't gotten around to it. Have you read it before, or will this be your first time?

    1. You're very welcome. :)

      This will be my... third time reading it, actually. o.o And I still haven't read any of the others, but I will make that change! xD

  10. Oooh, Patrick Ness! I just finished his 'The Rest of Us Just Live Here' and it was good enough. :)

    Books you have to read this Christmas (If you haven't already): The Legend trilogy (Best books in the world, I actually skipped half a day in school to fly to another city to attend Marie Lu's book signing last year), The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (if you're into paranormal/psychological thrillers), All the Bright Places (if you want to cry and feel good about life), and Solitaire if you haven't yet (The author, Alice Oseman, was published at 18/19 if I remember).

    I'm currently reading Carry On (Rainbow Rowell) and I'm liking it so far. :)

    1. I reaaaaally want to read the rest of Patrick Ness's books, but apparently they have lots of language in it. *sigh* I'll have to decide if I want to someday or not.

      Legend trilogy! I've read the first two, AND DID YOU HEAR THAT THE MOVIE IS COMING OUT NEXT YEAR?! I'm super excited and will drag my family to see it with me or just go watch it by myself. :P

      Ooh, I've heard lots about that book.

  11. Thank you sooo much for the shout-out of my blog! I can't wait to put up my first post on Saturday.

    THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. Just, oh gosh, they're one of my favorite series ever. *hugs them tightly* The characters are amazing and it's so feelsy and intense and I think you'll enjoy them. As for recommendations... uhm... have you read The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken? I really enjoyed those.

    NaNo was so crazy this year. But 100k in a month? That's insane. And amazing. I've never written a novel that's been longer than that. I wish you luck with all of your editing!

    1. You're sooooo welcome! :D I'm very happy about it. :D

      EEP YES THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. I still haven't read any farther than Cinder but I'm SO excited because the hype about these books is incredible. I wouldn't be surprised if movies started coming out in a couple years of the...
      *sniff* My library doesn't have The Darkest Minds trilogy. *sniffs some more*

      NaNo was so crazy. o.O Thank you! And you TOTALLY would've made it to 100k, too, because you were going amazingly speedy with your word count. :P

  12. I am too.

    THEY ARE SO GOOD. Especially Winter... gosh, it was amazing.

    What? Noooooo. It's so good though. *sniff*

    Any NaNo event is crazy. xD

  13. I followed Anna's I get a cookie? ;) bahahaa. :D

    Oh, and, not to freak anyone out or anything...BUT ONE MONTH FROM TODAY IS IT OFFICIALLY 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;P

    Okay, so curious me is wondering your exact word count. he he he. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU MADE IT TO 100,000 WORDS! Not that I didn't believe YOU could do it, it's just beyond imaginable for me. ;)

    Awesome, Katie! <3 Next is Camp, huh? Atleast we've got a while for that yet. ;)

    1. YES! You get ten cookies. ;)

      O.O. I AM OFFICIALLY FREAKED OUT. AHHHH. SERIOUSLY?!?! Oh goodness. I'm not ready. o.o

      105,622. :D I'M SO EXCITED I FINISHED IT. :D *dances around*

      Yup! April. That's... awhile away. I'm half-sad and half-relieved. :P

    2. dear me, 10?! I'll get fat. Please, don't tempt me. ;P

      I KNOW! 2016..I admit, it doesn't sound strange like most years. :P Oh, this Christmas is coming so fast I'm wondering if it will even happen! lol.

      OH MY GOODNESS. *jaw drop* A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!! You rock. ;P

      Why don't they have a NaNo in January/February when everyone is stuck inside?! ;)

    3. Hehe, the years usually sound strange to you, too? I think maybe 2016 doesn't sound so weird since I've been thinking about it so much. :P 2013 always sounded weird... I think the odd numbers sound weirder. :P

      Right!? I would totally sign up. :P A... WinterWriMo. :P

    4. Yes, usually...foreign. lol. I know.. 2014 and under sounds..old. lol! Now I have to get used to writing a new year as the date. I ALREADY HAVE THAT PROBLEM EVERY MONTH! ;P

      Totally. Where is the form to sign to make a new one? ;P It would be totally awesome, and everyone would want to join in the dull time of the year. :D

    5. Aha! I found out they DO have many other NaNo's! They just aren't as big or anything. that one looks the most interesting to me... :D

    6. Ooooh, the 750 words one looks awesome. :D Also, I use myWriteClub to keep track of my writing goals. :)

  14. YESSSS LOST. It's my favorite, as you can tell. xD I can't wait to flail over it with you because it HURTS. (And I'm planning to rewatch the series very very soon because now my brother is old enough to see it and I must convert everyone to the best show of all time. xD) Also, your reading list is just the best, but I'm sure you already know that. *shoves Illuminae at you*

    1. YES. I'm on season two now and just... aaaack.

      I'M 60 PAGES IN AND IT IS EXCELLENT. BUT... TIME. SCHOOL. NOOO. *cries* *needs more time to read*

  15. Ooh, I'm with you on the whole reading books in December thing. I have read much less than I should have recently (NaNoWriMo, University, the works. Many obligations, no time). December is my time to change that. I'm also looking forward to getting back into music for fun, not just choir concerts and lessons. I've rather missed my music recently. Enjoy your December. You've really earned a bit of a rest!

    1. Yay for music! Do you mean just singing in general or playing an instrument?

      I'm still in awe that you managed to do 3x the goal for NaNo and ALSO finish University. You're so amazing. :P

  16. Hi, Katie Grace!
    Gosh, I literally just love your blog more than you understand. You know how sometimes you're just randomly fooling around on the internet looking up random things and reading random crap? But then all of a sudden you come upon this really cool site/blog/book/article and you just fall. in. love.?
    Well, after finding you on NaNo, I decided to just click your blog link and stumbled upon this wonderful work of art! It's so incredible that you blog so. darn. well! And, you are so involved with your readers; which is a huge positive! I literally don't know how you got to this point, but it's truly amazing!
    I was wondering how you do your picture-things... Like, the first picture of this post and most of them. This one is "MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS November." How do you make those? I would love to know how!
    Also, conGRATULATIONS ON REACHING 100k!!!!! Ahhh! That is so super thrilling! I only made it to about 10k... :( but I wasn't really prepared or determined to do anything. I would love to read your finished novels some day!!!
    Also, I am looking forward to your blog posts this December! I can't wait to see how you actually blog. Do you know what I mean? Like, for the month of November, you were mainly blogging for NaNo; so Im looking forward to seeing what your blogging life actually consists of! I can't wait to learn more about you; and maybe get some inspiration for my own blog! :) :) :)

    Congratulation, again, on reaching 105, 622! That's huge!
    - Haleigh

    1. Hey, Haleigh! :D

      AAAAACK. You are making me grin and squeal and blush. Seriously, than you SO much for this comment, girl!

      The Monthly Highlight's picture I editing it in a program called 'Picmonkey.' (Free for use online.) I downloaded the different fonts to use and just smashed it all on the picture together. :)

      And someday I'll be needing beta readers... *wink* But 10k is still great! Even if you do 10k a month, that's 120k a year. o.O And that's a LOT.

      I totally get what you mean. I'm interested to see what I come up with, too. (Ha.) Thank you so much for reading and commenting! You are so sweet. <3

  17. Congrats with finishing and yay for revising this month! I'm doing some revising myself before I take a two week break for the holidays from writing and blogging so I'm fresh for next year. XD A bunch of those books you mentioned are on my list especially Cinder! I'm dying to read that. And I have A Time to Die and I'm about to read it so I can then read a A Time to Speak lol. I'm also trying to read the Fifth Wave and Allegiant before the films come out. XD So I feel you there. I believe I've heard of A Monster Calls. The trailer makes me curious. Best wishes with writing!

  18. I keep forgetting to mention it, but I really love your new blog design. I mean, I liked your old one, but this one is so new and fresh and shiny I just want to hug it. *hugs blog*

    Congratulations on writing so much, and have fun with all your reading! I hope you like the Lunar Chronicles. :)


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