Frabjous Finalities {June/July 2016}

by - 12:43 AM

First off, I am a wizard. (YES, THIS IS PERTINENT.) Because wizards are never late. They arrive precisely when they mean to.

Which means this post is on-time and definitely not absurdly late. That would be awkward.

Since I never managed to get my FF post up in June, I'm combining the June and July posts into one MASSIVE wrap-up post. IT IS GINORMOUS, I TELL YOU. Proceed at your own risk. And remember me as I pass out from exhaustion at writing this post.

ANYWHO. Now that we've established my status as a wizard, let's talk about...


// June //

I honestly don't remember anything that happened in June. *refers to calendar because I've failed at journaling and therefore know nothing that happened the last two months*

The first week of June brought with it a terrifying experience in which I almost lost my glasses, a dance program at my church (I was not in it, don't worry; I would inevitably scar people for life if I tried ballet), and a trip to the local pottery studio with my bestie.

Which brings us to this. I finished painting my latest project, an Inside Out plate! I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out and gladly put it in the place of my Tangled plate...which is not the best, in case you were wondering. :P But yes! You probably didn't know I painted, did you? WELL, I DO. This is proof.

See? I told you it was decent.
The highlight of the month was definitely finishing school. It felt like such a relief to finally have wrapped up the very stressful, hectic school year. Unfortunately, it does look like my fall semester will also be very stressful. So don't be surprised when my posts start making even less sense than usual.

Along the lines of school, I attended an orientation meeting for the local community college. Yup, folks, I'm starting college courses this fall. I haven't graduated yet, but they allow students to be "dual-enrolled," meaning you can take a few college courses in addition to regular high-school level ones. Fortunately, I'm only taking one and it's online. But it's speech so it will be painful. #thisintrovertisdying

Then, just one week after my summer break began, I got a cold. WHICH COMPLETELY SCREWED UP MY PLANS. But hey, I got to rewatch The Fellowship of the Ring so it wasn't all bad. (Besides, now I can look forward to reading Howl's Moving Castle next time I contract one. ;D)

The month rounded off with lots of visits from family, an overnight stay in a hotel (in which we made s'mores at an actual campfire instead of a microwave), and an impromptu decision on my part to join Camp NaNo.

// July //

My July was INSANE. Heh, so much for a relaxing summer. :P I actually think it's been almost as stressful as the school year. Which makes me depressed. D:

Much of the insanity revolved around Camp NaNo, which I jumped into with no outline, no plot, no notes--nothing. It was hugely overwhelming, and I now realize my goal was entirely unrealistic. There was no way I could hit 30k with everything else happening that month. So I didn't win my first NaNo, BUT I got over 22k written, which brings my novel up to 50 pages. *dances* I also had wonderful/crazy/slightly eccentric cabin mates who were a BLAST and kept me laughing late into the night. So it was still fun...but in an I'm-really-stressed kind of way.

I celebrated the Fourth with my family by going swimming, eating hotdogs and delicious red-white-and-blue fruit pizza, and watching fireworks from our pool. Our neighborhood went all-out this year with the fireworks so we got quite the show.

My mom, sister, and I went on another girls' day (which involved a trip to the bookstore, naturally) before we left for our Kentucky trip. We stayed there for about 10 days and enjoyed cooler weather for about half that time. During our stay, I caught fireflies, blew dandelions, ate an absurd amount of icecream, visited the new Ark, and drained my social energy levels due to all the family gatherings. We also went to a bookstore (where the books were all half-price!) and a place called Big Bone Lick where they have a lot of dinosaur fossils and such. It was a very exhausting yet enjoyable trip, for sure.

The rest of the month consisted of tons of SAT prep (UGH), birthday celebrations for my dad, lots of books, and freaking out over college things.


// June //

Four books again. *facepalms* Argh. Well, at least I enjoyed them all. Since this post is already really long, I'll just list the titles and a brief summary of my thoughts. At least, I'll try to be brief. ;)

~ Gatekeepers + Timescape + Whirlwind. Yes, I'm cheating a little by grouping all three of these together. But they're all part of the same series so we're good. I can't expound on these without giving stuff away, but I will say that they get better with each book. THEY'RE SO STINKIN' GOOD. But argh, I'm still mad about that cliffhanger. I needs the last book, preciousss. Seriously, my library has EVERY BOOK EXCEPT THE LAST ONE. *glares* GAH. I shall have to suffer. D':

~ A Spark Unseen. EEEEEP!!! This boooook. <333 It takes place in France and has delightful French guys (like Lane Moreau *smiles*), plus a great heroine and a cast of adorable, eccentric, and hilarious side-characters. Oh, and there's action and great descriptions and just asdhfldkf. THIS AUTHOR IS MY NEW FAVE.

// July //

Things picked up in the reading department during July. Which is ironic because I also wrote like crazy, did tons of test preparation, and was actually social. Not sure how this worked out or I even slept/ate/lived, but yeah.

~ Reapers. So I actually started this book in June but got distracted. #lifeofabookaddict I gotta admit, it wasn't my favorite Davis book. I usually adore all of his books, but...this one just fell a little flat for me. It still earned 3.5 stars, though, because it had lots of action and exciting things happening. I moderately liked the characters, but they weren't all that memorable to me. *shrugs* I dunno. It was good but not amazing.

~ Silver Blaze + The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. Yay for Sherlock Holmes! :D I always love a good mystery, and these were especially enjoyable. Probably some of the best Holmes stories I've read yet. I particularly liked the latter, though the other one was fun, too.

~ Howl's Moving Castle. Oh. My. Word. I AM IN LOOOOVE. The characters were by far THE BEST part of this book. I JUST LOVED THEM. <333 My favorite was probably Calcifer (shush, all you Howl lovers; I still like Howl :D), but it's really hard to choose when they're all delightful squishies. Oh, and the magic and humor and world-building were frabjous. Methinks this one shall have to be reviewed at some point. *hugs book*

~ The Merchant's Daughter. This is one of my favorite Dickerson books! Annabel and Lord le Wyse are ADORBS. That is all.

~ Plain Kate. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY FEEEELS? *dissolves in a puddle of tears* Ack, it's been weeks since I've read it, and I still can't determine what I thought of it. BECAUSE SAD THINGS. BUT ALSO TALKING CATS. I don't even know what I'm saying at this point. :P

~ Unveiling Grace. Okay, so I rarely read nonfiction, but this one was so gooood. It was a real eye-opener. The author of this book actually visited our church last summer, along with a band called Adam's Road (a Christian music group formed by several of her adult children). I technically finished this book on August 1st, but who's being technical?


(A few highlights from the two months because you probably don't want to know about them all.)

// Revisited Faves //

~ Cinderella (2015): SO MUCH GORGEOUS. *dies* Also, I'm still wondering how the costume designer is such a genius.

~ The Fellowship of the Ring (2001): Um, of course I'm rewatching The Lord of the Rings. Never mind the fact that I've seen them five times already, there's always room for a sixth viewing. ;)

~ Tarzan (1999): For those of you who don't know, Tarzan is one of my favorite Disney movies. I just love it so. <3 The characters are fun (I especially love Jane), there is lots of emotional stuff occurring, and the music is to-die-for.

~ The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003): Because Will Turner and witty one-liners. This movie is probably in my top five. IT'S THAT GOOD. (It also deserves a review. Perhaps soon?)

~ The Two Towers (2002): MY FAVORITE MOVIE EVER. *huggles it* Not much remains to be said except that Legolas is awesome. ^_^

// Newbies //

~ The Secret Life of Pets (2016): Oh my goodness, this movie was ADORABLE! I died of the cuteness! The characters were hilarious, eccentric, little fuzzballs. I think this landed in my top ten animated movies because I loved it so much. Eep!!!

~ Paddington (2014): Rather endearing. There were a couple things I didn't like, but other than that, it was adorable. The themes of acceptance and the importance of family really stick with you. <3

~ Risen (2016): So...I had a really hard time hearing this movie because of my grandparents' TV and was also really exhausted when I saw it...but I think I enjoyed it? I'll have to rewatch it sometime when my brain is clearer. XD Very inconclusive, I know. APOLOGIES.


~ Um, excuse me while I die of the brilliance. This is such an amazing piece of music, and she plays it to perfection. Go listen to it. Right now. You have no excuse since I was nice enough to include the link. ;)

~ Back Home by Owl City. OBVIOUSLY OWL CITY. He's a genius, folks. This particular song of his reminds me of summer days. What better way to celebrate summer than back home with the family you love?

~ AAHHHH!!!! This song is beautimous! I adore it! Her voice, though. O.O

~ Lots of Rend Collective. I'm obsessed with their music now, and I'm not even sorry. This song has especially captured my attention in July. (Because duh, Fourth of July and fireworks.)

~ Ha, judge me if you want, but I'm still in love with the '50s and early '60s music. It's so fuuuun! In celebration of summer, I've been playing this song by Annette on repeat. Because Annette! And pineapple! THERE'S A SONG WITH PINEAPPLE. ISN'T THAT THE BEST?!


(Mostly an onslaught of pictures because I feel like it. :P)

This is what happened when I attempted
to make a schedule before NaNo. XD
View from the airplane. Stunning!

The Ark

Big Bone Lick

Kentucky countryside is lovely. ^_^


YUM. *drools*

Watching The Two Towers with Patches.
She was apparently not entertained. XD

Are you still alive? Well, if you didn't die while reading this huuuuuge post then I applaud you. *claps wildly* Sorry for the lateness of it!

OKAY. How has your summer been so far? Have you traveled anywhere? What is your favorite sundae? (Caramel is my favorite, in case you couldn't tell. *cough*)

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  1. OH MY GOODNESS YOU WENT TO THE ARK?! That's sooo cool!! My fam and I plan on going in October sometime, and I'm very excited!!

    Wow, your months were BU-SY. Dude, I am still in awe of your 22K that you somehow managed to write while still doing all of this other stuff??

    But yeah, I enjoyed being in the cabin with you :D

    (Good luck with your college classes!!)

    1. YESH, I DID! Ohhhh, that should be fun! You'll have to let me know what you think of it. :D

      Haha, thaaaanks. :P I still wonder how I survived. XD


      (Thanks muchly, Hann!)

  2. Who cares about long posts?! Long posts about life are the bestest! =D
    AND YAY FOR THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Aren't those movies just awesomeness?!
    Girl friend, those doughnuuuuts. *drools* Do you have a favorite doughnut? Mine is definitely glazed. Man, now my mouth is watering. =p
    And EEP you actually got to go visit the ark! Pretty neat!!
    Wonderful post!!

    1. D'awww, thanks, girl! I like reading everyone's lifely posts, too!

      THEY'RE THE BESTTTT. I honestly don't know how I lived a normal life without them!

      Oh man, don't even get me STARTED on donuts! My favorite is probably glazed cake donuts. They have these blueberry cake donuts at a local donut shop, and they are to. die. for.

      It was so cool to see in person! A really great experience, for sure. ^_^

      Aw, thank you, Ariel!

  3. In my head it's still JUNE. So to me you're definitely not late. *nods*

    BUT GIRL. You've been so busy, wow. o.o I'm sorry life has been so crazy and stressful for you. *hugs* BUT YOU MADE IT THROUGH CAMP NANO!!! :D And it is OKAY you didn't quite make it to 30k. I mean, look at all you've been doing! I'm just SO in awe of you for taking on Camp in the midst of your busy life. AND 22K WORDS! YOU DID AWESOME. *throws confetti* Congratulations!!!

    Your Inside Out plate. :O I did NOT know you painted. AND LOOK AT THE TALENT. It's so cute! *flails*

    Reapers wasn't my favorite Bryan Davis book either. The characters didn't grab my like his charries usually do. Buuut I still loved the book so much I gave it 5 stars. XD That's how much I love his stories. This one just wasn't my FAVORITE of his stories.

    BUT HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WASN'T IT JUST SO MUCH FUN????? And I ADORED Calcifer. Howl is obviously my favorite, but Calcifer is AMAZING, and so is Sophie. JUST ALL THE BABIES. *hugs them* I'M SO HAPPY YOU GOT TO READ IT AND ENJOYED IT! :D :D :D

    Cinderella and LotR and PotC and all the happy movies! :D The Two Towers is my favorite movie toooo!!!!

    So the Secret Life of Pets was good? I have not seen it but I want to!

    Wow. That first video you put up, of the violinist, IS gorgeous. Just...whoa. o.o The talent!
    Oh, oh! Back Home. Love that song so muuuuch. What's funny is the first time I heard it I was HORRIFIED. I felt soooo betrayed. Because it was... *gasp* a country song! O_O And you should know, I DETEST country music. I'd probably rather listen to rap or pop or something before country music. *shudders* And next thing I knew, my precious Adam Young was doing a country song with a country singer. I FELT SO BETRAYED. But then I...liked it. And now I listen to it on repeat allll the time. ONLY OWL CITY CAN DO THESE THINGS TO ME. I declare, if he sang a Justin Bieber song I'd enjoy it! OWL CITY IS LIFE.

    I love your to-do list there. XD AND YOU WENT TO SEE THE NEW ARK?? :O JEALOUS. I so want to go! Looks like you had a lovely trip! ^_^

    If you can't tell, I LOVE your large posts and thus you get a massive comment. Heh. Hope things get less stressful for you and that your August is AWESOME. <333

    1. I am fashionably late in replying to ALL THESE COMMENTS, THOUGH. My gosh. O.O

      Awww, thank you so much! That means a lot to me! <3 It was extremely crazy this summer, but I made it through Camp NaNo. And...may be considering doing NaNo in November, too. #crazywriter

      EEP, THANK YOU!!! Hehe, I love doing artsy things! Surprisingly, this actually turned out. ^_^ I'm quite pleased with meh Inside Out plate.

      Yeah, I didn't really care for the characters a ton. Plus dystopian. Dystopian is not my thing. :P Still, I gave it 3.5 stars, which says a lot of Bryan Davis.

      OH MY WORD, HMC!!!! I could flail about that book for YEARS and not be tired of it! EEP! ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE ADORBS. <3

      Yesh! I got to rewatch lots of happy movies this summer. Sadly, I've only seen three in the past two months. O.O BUT AHHHH IT'S SO AWESOME THAT WE HAVE THE SAME FAVORITE MOVIE! The Two Towers is epic!

      It was soooo good! Honestly made me crack up. XD All the characters are adorable, which certainly works in its favor. Actually one of my new favorite animated movies! ^_^

      OH MY. Isn't it, though? GAH. I wish my violin skills were half as good!
      *chuckles* I find it hilarious how much you despise country music. It actually doesn't bother me that much. (Not like rap or screamo music. XD) BUT I was surprised how much I loved Back Home. Country isn't really my favorite, but I ended up ADORING that song! ADAM IS THE BEST IF HE CAN DO THIS TO US. XD (Buuuut it may be stretching it a bit with Justin Bieber. *shudders at the mention of his name*)

      Eheh, that's how crazy Mary's brain works. XD AWK, THE ARK IS REALLY COOL. Just being able to see it was incredible. ^_^

      D'awww, thank you! I feel so horrible for replying to these comments moooonths later, but at least I finally replied. XD


    *reads furiously*

    AAW, THAT INSIDE OUT PLATE! It is so adorable. You are a fabulous painter, just saying. o.o

    Ooh, and RISEN. I love that movie. <3 I was a little worried when I walked into the theater, because I had heard what a disgrace Noah was and a couple movies about Moses that had been done earlier. BUT I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. Sure, they took a *few* liberties with some of the dialogue, but of course they had to. And it was very well done. (also, did you notice that Draco Malfoy plays Clavius'... right hand man, Lucius, was it? Anyway. :P)

    THAT HOBBIT SONG. o.o O.O Ahh. Oh my. Her voice. It's so gorgeous. *dies*

    The Arc Encounter is so cool! I want to do that someday. :)

    AND THAT ICE-CREAM. *mouth waters*

    I'm glad your summer has been good so far. And way to go with Camp! It's okay if you didn't finish your goal - at least you got 22k written, right?

    My summer has been busy but good. Busy having to do with the fact that I was doing Camp NaNo right in the middle of moving craziness, snatching up WiFi at whatever Camp ground had it available. xD It was a bit tricky finding time to write, especially when I had nowhere to charge my computer, but it was good.

    And basically the Tetons and Yellowstone are like the most gorgeous places in the US. (I actually dropped my sunglasses in one of the boiling springs at Yellowstone. But a German man who I couldn't understand fished them out for me with his tripod leg. xD)

    SO YES. I'm having a good summer, albeit a very travel-y and stressful one. But I reach my new house on Sunday! Hurrah for at least no longer being homeless. :P

    1. *grins at your enthusiasm*

      Awwwww, thank you! I normally don't paint that well so I have no idea how that happened. XD

      It was really good! I mean, I couldn't hear it that well, but from what I heard it was good. :P (I feel slightly lame for not knowing who Draco Malfoy is. *hides*)

      IT TAKES MY BREATH AWAY HONESTLY. Her voice is so rich and ethereal. I don't even know. O.O

      Oh, you should, Emily! It's very cool. :D

      *stomach rumbles on cue* I could use some ice cream right about now...

      Aw, thank you! Yup, getting words written was really the whole point so I suppose I succeeded in that sense. *claps at my unintentional use of alliteration*

      WOW. Girl, you are seriously amazing! I would NEVER have been brave enough to do Camp NaNo while in the midst of a move! You must have superpowers! XD

      *sighs wistfully* I want to visit them someday! I've been to Yosemite, which was GORGEOUS, but haven't gotten the chance to visit those locations yet. (That is hilarious! I just can't get that mental picture of the German guy out of my head. XD)

      Ahhh, well, this was some time ago so hopefully you're all settled in by now. :P Seriously admire you for doing all that crazy writerly stuff on top of moving!

  5. My goodness! You've been busy. XD This month/last month sounds like it was good. REWATCH ALL THE LOTR MOVIES!! :)

    1. Yup, it was a pretty busy summer!


  6. You posted again, yay!! I don't mind long posts at all.
    To begin with, YOU'RE PAINTING. That is GORGEOUS!! Ahh, I love 'Inside Out'!!
    Cinderella?! I LOVE that movie! I've seen it. . . five times? And it's still on the re-watch list. And yes, THE COSTUMES.
    Curse of the Black Pearl? I wanna know how many times you've seen that movie. ;) Yes, the witty one-liners and Will Turner are by far the best parts. I feel like most people like Jack, but I just. . . I dunno. He's too much of a pirate. I have such mixed feelings about that movie. The content bothers me, I wish Will could have been in a cleaner movie. It IS fun though, isn't it? ;)
    REND COLLECTIVE?! I LOVE Rend Collective! Just. . . the amazingness. *happy sigh* They're the best.
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait: When do they sing 'Song of Durin'? 'Cause I thought it was just in the book. . .
    Anyway, I NEED to stop now, this comment is getting ridiculous. ;)

    1. I have such an inconsistent blogging schedule, don't I? XD

      AHHHH, THANK YOU!!! I love Inside Out, too! ^_^

      Wow, five times? O.O I think I've seen it...well, about five times I guess. XD

      Ahem. Well...I think I've seen that *pauses to tally up in my head* about six times. I'm...a bit obsessed. XD IT'S SO MUCH FUN! (And yeah, Will Turner is definitely the best part. Jack is funny, but Will...he's just adorable. <3)

      OH, YOU DO?! That's awesome! I actually just saw them in concert recently! They're even more amazing in person!!!

      Well, it's not in the movies, but someone made a song using the lyrics from the books. I found it on YouTube, and it's absolutely stunning. :D

      Hehe, I love all your sweet comments, Hanna! ^_^

  7. Agh! Yay for Owl City - he is awesome!!! - yay for Rend Collective - they are so fun! - yay for rewatching The Lord of the Rings! Currently I am rewatching The Hobbit movies, myself. Also, that gif of Will Turner - wow, he is hot!

    Btw, your painting was awesome! Also, can't wait to read the rest of the Melanie Dickerson books!!!

    1. All the yays! XD Owl City and Rend Collective are absolutely some of my favorite musicians. <3

      Hehe...Will Turner is adorable. ;)

      Aww, thank you so much! OOH. MELANIE DICKERSON. I just read another one of her books this month, and it's probably my favorite so far. :D

  8. That's an adorable painting. Well done!
    You saw the ark! Oh, I'm envious! I really want to see that ark. (I also happen to want a sundae now)

    1. Aw, thanks, Blue! :)

      YES, I DID! It was really cool! (Hehe, sorry 'bout that. I can't control my sweet tooth. ;D)

  9. WOW! I've really want to go to the ark encounter! It's definitely on my to-do-eventually list. ;)
    I LOVED THE HOBBIT SONG!!! Oh my! I almost died it was so beautiful!
    HOW IS IT AUGUST ALREADY??? Somebody pinch me! :O
    I enjoyed reading your post! It was fun to read about what you've been up to. :)

    1. Yup, you should go there someday! :D

      WASN'T IT GORGEOUS??? I am SO obsessed with it! it's almost October. O.O I NEED SOME SERIOUS HELP BECAUSE TIME IS EVASIVE.

      Thanks so much, Rebekah! I'm glad you guys actually like these posts. ^_^

  10. Wow it sounds like you had a busy but fun month! Two Towers is my fav too! I wuv that movie so much! That's so cool that you got to go the Ark encounter. I really really want to go to that. Wishing you an awesome July!

    1. I did indeed! Ooh, yay! I love The Two Towers! The Ark Encounter was really interesting to see. ^_^

      Thanks, Victoria!

  11. Awesome post, Mary!!! You've been very busy! I'm sorry life has been stressful. *hugs* And you did great with NaNo! Twenty-two thousand words?! That's awesome!!! :D Congrats!!

    THAT PLATE!!! Girl, that looks AMAZING!!!! You're so talented!

    The Ark Encounter looks cool!! Looks like you had a fun trip. :D


    Lovely post, Mary!! I enjoyed reading it!! :D

    1. Thank you so much, Morgan! Yeah, life has been pretty ridiculous as of late. O.O

      D'AWWW, THANK YOUUU! You're so sweet. <3

      It was a blast! I always love visiting my grandparents. :)

      OF COURSE!!!

      Thanks again, Morgan! ^_^


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