Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy 2016! What I've Been Up To, And What I Will Be Up To

Happy New Year, everyone!

Guys? Hello? You there?

Awww, come on, don't be like that. I know you all secretly missed me! I hope...

Well, in any case, I guess I owe you all somewhat of an explanation, and some exciting new things to look forward to this year. So whether you want to know or not, here's what's been happening in Leanne's World!

Where the Hell I've Been Since August

So um, yeah, it's been a little while, hasn't it? And I'm sure you're all tired of my excuses and apologies for my repeated extended absences, especially since nearly every post from this past summer has started out with one of those. Long story short: between an extra-heavy course load, a new work-study job, a little bit of family drama, researching grad schools, a couple holidays, trying to get my anxiety under control, and an insanely busy couple of weeks working at the liquor store, things have been a little crazy. Oh and I also graduated college.

You know, same old same old...
And yes, this is my rather lame explanation for totally dropping the ball on that "Fall of Fantasy" thing I was so excited about. You know, the thing where I was going to read and review one epically-long fantasy novel every two weeks along with starting a weekly chapter-by-chapter sporking of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones? Welp, that was a total bust. Embarrassing as it is, I only got about 30% of the way into A Game of Thrones before the pressure started to get to me and I knew I'd set the bar too high for myself. Why I thought after only managing to read three books for "Self-Pub Summer" I thought that this was going to be any easier during my busy and anxiety-inducing final semester is beyond me.

For a long time, I've felt pretty guilty about letting this blog go untouched for so long; in spite of my too-frequent hiatuses, I really do love doing this and wish that I was much better at managing my time and stress levels so that I could be free to read and write more often. I know that I don't have many "fans", but I hate the thought of disappointing anyone by disappearing for five months without a word (as an aside, I'd like to thank all of you 294 people who still follow me on Twitter despite the lack of tweets and blog posts. You guys are awesome and have done a lot to boost my confidence in my blogging and writing over the past few months.). But you know what? I think taking a break ended up being a good thing after all. With the stress of my impending graduation, I really just needed the extra time and mental capacity to focus on just making it through the semester. I may have broken some promises, and for that I'm sorry; but I hope that now, with the beginning of a new year, I can at least have a fresh start with this blog.

So what else have I been up to, besides work and school and all that boring crap? Well, for starters I've been up to some sewing/cosplay, although not nearly as much as I'd like. In September I completed one of my most complex (and expensive!) projects yet: a 12th century (ish) bliaut dress and chemise. Finished it just in time to go to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival with the Boyfriend, too! Like, I literally finished it the night before. I think I did a pretty good job, if I say so myself. I'm just glad it wasn't a nipply chilly day (bras aren't period accurate, ya know... *ahem*).

On a side note, I really do need to get a good photo of the whole dress. These pics don't really do it justice.

Turkey legs! Rawwr!
Also, I got to try archery for the first time! I really want a recurve bow now so that I can learn for real. Alas, I don't think there are any good spots around my house for target practice...

Not a whole lot interesting happened between September and December. I saw Spectre, which was pretty cool (Boyfriend and I made Archer jokes the whole time), started writing an erotic(!) short story which I kinda abandoned, had a sudden and quite possibly brilliant idea for a vampire novel/series which I'm dead set on coming back to later, I made The Boyfriend watch The Big Lebowski for the first time, and... that's pretty much it. I also rage-quit (question: is it even cool to say "rage-quit" anymore?) The Walking Dead. The dear BF doesn't think I'm serious, but I mean it. I got really behind on watching it a long time ago and so I was halfway through getting caught up on season 5, and I reached the point, after two episodes in a row where likable main characters die that I'd finally had enough. I think I literally shouted "Fuck you!" at the screen and started repeating "no" over and over again after the episode was over. Look, I know that I'm an emotional masochist who tends to get drawn in to books and shows where I know that it's going to get dark and people are going to die a lot and I just eat that shit up no matter how much it hurts, but The Walking Dead just cut me a little too deep this time. I think this may be the one time where I walk away and don't look back.

That said, with Game of Thrones painfully far off, Battlestar Galactica apparently never coming back to Netflix *sniff sniff*, and TWD now dead to me, I needed a new show to obsess over, so now I'm hooked on The Vampire Diaries. I'm not even joking. That show is like crack to me now. Honestly, I was expecting to hate it and started watching mostly out of a morbid curiosity to see how Twilight-y it turned out to be, but it turns out it's actually amazing. It's like the anti-Twilight, I love it!

Then everything kind of hit me all at once in mid-December. You know, essays, final grades, graduating, Star Wars, all that good stuff. Oh, yeah, The Boyfriend and I saw The Force Awakens on opening night, two days before I graduated and one day after the most miserable night of last-minute essay-writing-before-grades-are-due ever. Fun stuff! Yes, the movie was awesome, yes, I went in costume, and yes, I will write a review... after I see it again to refresh my memory and savor all those sweet fangasm-inducing moments for a second time. Unfortunately, we were so caught up in the moment that we didn't get a chance to take any really good pictures, but here's a picture of me in the unfinished version of my Jedi costume from last Halloween. It was surprisingly cheap--yay for being frugal!--since I made the outer tunic and tabbards from old bedsheets I found at home. I dyed them with tea, which was an absolute bitch  to deal with since I needed like 40 tea bags, a gallon of water, and a sizable bucket for each. But hey, it made me feel like someone who should be all over Pintrest doing professional tutorials for this kind of thing, so that's something to be proud of.

Oh, and I finally got a smartphone for Christmas, too. Yes, that's right, up until now I've been stuck in the dark ages with my "basic phone". To be fair, it's not like I haven't wanted one for a long time, it's just that I've been a poor college kid still on my parent's phone plan, and I'm too cheap money-conscious to want to shell out my own money for one. But now that I have one it'll definitely make reading/writing/blogging when I'd normally be away from my computer that much easier, which is amazing.

Which brings me to...

What's in Store for this Blog

Well, for starters, I'm going to start writing posts again. Oh, come on, don't roll your eyes at me, it's a big deal! But seriously, I mean it. I'm trying to learn how to set more realistic goals for myself, so don't expect any big theme-things like "Fall of Fantasy" or other set plans for a while. That being said, I am still planning on starting that City of Bones sporking I've been talking about; I've actually already started reading it, so hopefully I'll have the first chapter out soon.

Rest assured, there will also be plenty of book reviews to look forward to in the near future. I actually finally got around to reading Jenny Trout's The Boss, but I've held off on reviewing it because I inconveniently decided to read it right before finals. Leave it to me to be too preoccupied to do much reading for fun for months and them decide to read a whole book right when I'm busiest.

I don't even want to think about how often I ask myself this question.
But, as I'm currently reading Chuck Wendig's Star Wars novel Aftermath, you probably have to wait for my review of The Boss until I review that one. Then I guess I should probably get back to A Game of Thrones, and then after that, who knows what's next! I'm sure the suspense is killing you.

If you've read my rant on Terry Goodkind a while back, then you probably know I also talked about the possibility of doing recaps of the Legend of the Seeker TV series. Well, I've watched the first episode and bunch of clips on youtube, and I've gotta say, it really looks like the kind of corny, melodramatic, fluffy, cliche-riddled kind of fantasy that I could have a lot of fun good-naturedly taking the piss out of. So I'm going to do it! I won't say exactly when, but I'll do it. Who knows, maybe the BF will join in on the fun. Speaking of, you guys may even be lucky enough to get a few guest posts from him! Isn't he just the greatest? Back off, ladies, he's mine.

I'm also thinking about trying to resurrect my long-dead Youtube channel, and maybe trying to add some kind of "vlog" element to this blog. We'll see where that goes.

"But what about Flash Fiction Friday?" I'm sure you're all just dying to know. Unfortunately, while I won't officially mark that down as completely dead, I will say that it will probably not be a weekly or even particularly regular feature the way I had intended it to be. One of my many New Year's resolutions is to write every day, and naturally that applies to my fiction writing as well as my blogging; however, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and a lot of the story ideas that I'm working on right now--or will be working on soon--are things that I'm quite serious about either self-publishing or trying to get published. That's not to say you won't ever see any of my original fiction here again, in fact I'll probably be putting up at least one piece very soon. And I do plan on still occasionally posting some flash fiction or bits and pieces of random stories I'm working on. But FFF never really ended up being the weekly feature I was hoping it would be, and so I'm trying to be realistic and not overextend myself. Hopefully you can all understand. I am thinking a lot more seriously about tackling this whole "lifelong dream of being a published author" thing, so even if there are times during which you may not see much fiction on this blog--or even infrequent posts in general--understand that I'm still probably locked in my room writing like crazy.

My New Year's Resolutions

  1. Read AND write every day
  2. learn better time management skills
  3. say "I'm sorry" less often when I don't need to 
  4. make more of an effort to manage my anxiety/get better at self-care
  5. exercise every day 
  6. be more frugal and save money!
  7. learn to set more realistic goals for myself

No comments:

Post a Comment