So April may have happened somewhere between this wrap up post and the last one, but I was really busy and kind of missed it, so… yeah. It’s time for my May/April wrap up post! Things this past month/last month have been kind of crazy, so here’s the rundown.
I traveled to England with my mom! As a super special birthday treat (and because my mom has wanted to go there for years and wanted someone to come with her) I got to go to England for a week! It was absolutely amazing, and if you haven’t had the chance to check out Part 1 or Part 2 of my write up of our adventures, make sure you do! My Instagram page is also chock full of photos from the trip, if you’re interested.
I accidentally started working on another secret project… Apparently I cannot stick to any of the projects I’m actually supposed to be working on, and I started developing ideas for another project I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while. It’s still in very early stages of development, and I’m going to try to work more on other, more pressing projects instead of following this thing off on a tangent, but… you know. We’ll see what happens.
I’m going to try and wrap up the One Week in London series during June/July, and get back to more regular blogging and writing habits. I’ve been kind of ignoring my WIPs and creative work in favor of… procrastinating, so I really need to work on that. It’s just a little frustrating, because with basically all my projects I’m right in the middle, which is where the self-doubt and boredom start to kick in. I know if I just keep working on it, doing a bit each day, I’ll get through. But the motivation is kind of lacking, so it may take a lot of willpower to actually get some work done.
Thanks for reading my May/April wrap up post! Can you believe it’s summer already? Cause I can’t… The year is almost half over, but it kind of feels like it’s just started. Have you done anything exciting during the past two months? Let’s chat in the comments!
Hello, everyone! Sorry I haven’t been able to get last month’s wrap up post out until now. March just sort of bled right into April and I didn’t even realize it! But here’s a quick rundown on what I’ve been up to in the last month, and what’s coming up.
My next writing project is moving forward. It’s very tempting for me to say that I got nothing done in March, but now that I really think about it, I have done some work on what will hopefully be my next book. I’m really trying to get back into the habit of writing something everyday, even if I don’t feel like it (which it seems like I never do). I’ve been really out of the loop recently, which may be why this post is so late, and I’m still struggling with motivation and finding the will power to just sit down and write something. But I’ve made some progress, which is fantastic, so there was at least one thing I accomplished this March.
I watched The Greatest Showman! All of Twitter has been raving about this musical for the past few months, and I finally got around to watching it. The soundtrack is amazing, and I wrote a review of the film, which you can find in the ‘Posts from February’ section below.
I’m getting more comfortable behind the wheel. While I may never be entirely comfortable with piloting a large, heavy object through narrow streets and around sharp corners, I am definitely improving. I was actually able to drive all the way home from the parking lot where we practice a few days ago, and I didn’t almost drive into a ditch like I did the first time, so I’ll take that as a good sign…
There are a lot of things happening this month. First of all, you should be seeing my review of the new season of A Series of Unfortunate Events on Friday. It technically should have been posted last Friday, but procrastination and health problems happened, so… yeah. There’s my excuse.
I’m going to be away for the rest of this week, starting tomorrow, because I’m going to the Great Homeschool Convention with some friends. I may be posting some photos/updates to my Twitter and Instagram, so if you’re interested, please go check those out.
I’m helping my lovely friend Daley Downing with the bookiversary of her debut novel! I’m going to be hosting a super special giveaway, starting on the 16th, so make sure you subscribe to my blog if you want to hear about that and get a chance to win some cool stuff.
There’s also one other exciting thing happening this April/May, but unfortunately I’m going to have to keep that a secret for now… 😉
Thanks for reading my March wrap up post! How was your March? Did you get to see any cool movies or shows? Is there anything exciting coming up in April for you? Let’s chat in the comments!
Heyo, friends! Wow. I can hardly believe February is already over! January felt at least a year long, but February 2018 went by in seconds, and suddenly we’re five days into March and I hadn’t yet posted my monthly wrap up post because I didn’t even realize the month had ended. Well, no more waiting! Let’s jump right in to what’s been happening this month…
I published a new story! It’s set in the same world as Behind Her Mask was Death, and takes place about ten years prior. The story is a novelette called Empty Little Heart: Esmeralda’s Story and has some backstory on everyone’s favorite Princess Esmeralda. You can pick up an ebook copy over on Amazon (it’s currently available exclusively on Kindle), and take a glance at the gorgeous cover art created by Jenna Paddey:
I became the co-creator of the dankest meme on the internet. Well, maybe not really, but it is a pretty great meme! The meme is called “John Green Red” and was created in honor of my YouTuber/author/awesome-creative-person friend Hannah Marie. I’ve mentioned Hannah a few times here on the blog, and if you’re interested in learning more about her, make sure to check out her Twitter, her YouTube channel, and visit her Fandom Wiki page! To learn more about the meme I helped create, and what it means, you can visit this page.
The original “John Green Red” meme created by yours truly. *dabs unironically*
I completely quit YouTube and have decided to focus more on blogging and writing. In the January Wrap Up Post, I said that I was going to try and make some more YouTube videos for my channel. But I realized, after several fruitless attempts at filming, that this was just a total drain on my mental health and creativity, and I’ve decided to drop that idea and focus on doing what I really enjoy. I’m going to try to do a lot more original, interesting blog posts on here, including recommendations, essay-type-things, more poetry (maybe?), and more reviews.
I’ve started learning to drive! I actually got my permit back in January I believe, but what with sickness and crazy schedules and work and what not, I wasn’t actually able to start learning to drive until Saturday of last week. Let’s just say that I still need a lot of practice before I’ll be driving anywhere except empty parking lots…
I have a couple of fun posts planned for March, and I’m going to try to finally finish up Season 1 of Marvel’s The Gifted and write a review of that as well. I’m playing through the 2017 rage game Getting Over It, and if I ever do, in fact, get over it, I’ll be reviewing the game on here. I’m making some progress on a couple of writing projects, which is good, as I haven’t written anything at all in the past few weeks (Yes, I know, I’m the worst…) and I’ll be sure to keep you updated if I have any breakthroughs with that.
I’m toying with the idea of doing some Instagram livestreams sometime in the future, just super casual, chat-about-your-day kind of stuff. If anyone would be interested, please let me know! (You can follow me on Instagram here, if you like.)
Thanks for reading my February wrap up post! How was your February? Are you as baffled as I am at how short it seemed??? Did any cool things happen to you this month? Let’s chat in the comments!
“Aria???? Where in the world have you been????” you cry furiously at your computer screen, as you smack your desk repeatedly with the palm of your hand, “You promised that this year you were going to actually write more blog posts, and then you just… disappear into thin air! What’s up with that??? Are you lying to us to our faces???????“
Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m sorry. One month into the year and I’ve already failed one of my goals, which was to post at least one blog post a week. I got off to a pretty good start and then… stuff happened. School. Work. Dare I say… procrastination? But that should have only been for last week! I was all geared up to try and get some posts out this week, and then disaster struck, in the form of a very nasty strain of the flu.
For multiple days I have been laid up in bed, basically unable to move, much less to write a riveting blog post. But, at last, I have returned. I’m still a bit sick, but I think I’m well enough to recount all the stuff that happened this month. Hopefully…
(Yes, I am making new banners without the year on them. I figure it’s way more efficient than making a whole new set of banners every single year!)
I went to see Secret Midnight Press on tour with indie musicians Tessa Violet and GiveMeMotion, and it was amazing! There were more people there than I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed both parts of the show (they had the musicians do their sets first, and then Jesse and Ashley from Secret Midnight Press came and read their poetry). It was at a smaller venue, which was nice, and the atmosphere and ambiance they created was very cool. I even got to talk to Ashley a bit after the show, and she signed my copy of Smoke Signals! 10 out of 10 would see a Secret Midnight Press show again. I had an awesome time.
I discovered some amazing small YouTubers during this month/the end of last year, and I wanted to give them a little shout out because they’re all super cool, and you should go check out some of their videos. I don’t normally watch smaller YouTubers, because it’s difficult to find ones with good quality content, but a while back a couple of my internet friends started YouTube channels, and they are through-the-roof-amazing. So make sure you check out That Girl with a Blog (My friend Hannah Marie’s channel. She does vlogs, storytimes, and is just generally hilarious and relateable) and also Jeneca Zody, Bethany Stevenson (they’re both amazing artists) and MasterEth (he makes hilarious clean comedy videos and is a friend of Hannah’s)
I started listening to Welcome to Night Vale! You may have heard of it at some point or another on your journey through the internets. It’s a fiction podcast about a tiny desert town somewhere in America where really weird and random paranormal stuff happens. The podcast is super bizarre and a little creepy, but I actually find it quite funny, mostly because of just how random it is. I’m almost finished season 1, and I’m loving it so far! The creators of Night Vale have also made another podcast called Within the Wires, which has a totally different vibe and is super suspenseful and exciting. I listened to the first season, and highly enjoyed it. Until recently I didn’t really know fiction podcasts were a thing, but Aimee Meester’s Bright Eyes Project sort of introduced me to the format, and I love finding new podcasts to enjoy. ^_^
Yes, I am going to try to do better about actually making blog posts in the future. But, I mean, hopefully I won’t have any more surprise attacks of the flu, so we should be good. I’m also hoping to make a YouTube comeback as soon as my voice doesn’t sound like a dying rat! I made a channel a while back and posted like one video… and then I never posted anything again. I have a couple of super cool ideas, though, and I’m hoping to make at least a few more videos very soon! I let you know if/when that happens.
Thanks so much for reading my January wrap up post! How has your January been? Have you discovered any cool new YouTubers, podcasts, TV shows, books yet this year? Do you have any favorite small YouTubers? Let’s chat in the comments below!
2017 has finally wound to an end. It’s been a crazy year, but there have also been some pretty awesome moments, and I’ve discovered a few amazing things I’d like to share with you today, including books, movies, music, YouTube shows, and more! Scroll down to check out my ‘best of’ list and recommendations, as well as my end of the year wrap up!
DISCLAIMER: Just so you know, all opinions I express in this post are entirely my own. Nobody has bribed me, sent me free stuff, blackmailed me, kidnapped me, or hacked my blog to get me to say this stuff. I just love all these things, and I love sharing cool stuff with all my friends. I hope you enjoy the list! 😄
Movies, TV, & YouTube
I have a difficult time making any real decisions, so for some of these categories there are multiple picks.
There honestly weren’t a ton of really awesome films that I got to see this year, so the selection I have to choose from for this category is relatively small. It’s honestly a bit of a tie between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok. While I did like Spiderman: Homecoming, I enjoyed Ragnarok a little bit more, maybe because I’ve been looking forward to it for at least a year now. It certainly did not disappoint. And The Last Jedi far exceeded any expectations I’d had for a Star Wars film, so they’re honestly about equal, in my opinion. You can read my review for Thor or read my review for The Last Jedi, if you want to hear my more detailed thoughts about the films.
Best TV Show
Maybe this is a little too obvious, but my pick for best TV show of 2017 is Netflix’s Stranger Things. There is so much internet hype about this show, that if you have been anywhere online you can’t help but here about it. And the show certainly lives up to the hype! Thrills, chills, adventure, as well as fabulous acting and writing abound, and I am very excited to see where the show goes next! You can read my full review of both seasons here. Another Netflix original, their new adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, also gets an honorable mention. It was very well done, and I would love if we got another season, as I would like to see the story continue! You can read my review of that here.
Best YouTuber/YouTube Series
This award goes to The Game Theorists (and Film Theorists) for their exceptional year of theories! I just discovered the Theorist Crew late last year, and they have become my all time favorite YouTubers. While I love MatPat and his hilarious, well researched (if sometimes far fetched) theories about video games, movies and TV shows, I also want to give a shout out to Austin, the creator of The SCIENCE! which is another video game themed show that can be found on the Game Theorists’ channel. His more recent episodes, especially the ones about Halo and Hello Neighbor, are chock full of cool facts, equations, and all around awesome science stuff. If you love video games (or movies) and like far-fetched theories and science-y weirdness, I would highly recommend checking out these two channels.
Best YouTube Red Original
I got a free trial of YouTube Red this year, mostly to watch the Game Theorists’ YouTube Red original show. While I highly enjoyed MatPat’s Game Lab, which is a real-life continuation of Game Theory, where they tested stuff from games in real life (such as playing soccer with cars, as shown in Rocket League, or trying to survive Five Nights at Freddie’s IRL) I would have to say that my favorite YouTube Red series was actually Mind Field, which is hosted by Micheal Stevens of Vsauce. Mind Field explores the science of psychology, particularly looking at the reasons why human beings behave the way they do, while also exploring a few other fascinating psychological concepts, such as isolation and its effect on the brain, or how people would respond in real life to the infamous Trolley Problem. While as a Christian I don’t agree with everything Stevens says, Mind Field is still a fascinating exploration of some of the science behind our behavior, and I would highly recommend that you check out the first episode of the show, which is available for free on the Vsauce channel.
Once again, there are multiple categories here, and once again, I am an indecisive bean who had multiple picks for one of them…
There is literally no contest here. The best song of 2017 is Machine by MisterWives. I was originally introduced to this indie pop/alternative band through Twenty One Pilots. MisterWives opened for them during the Quiet is Violent tour, and during the TØP hiatus I’ve been trying to find new music to listen to, often by looking up bands that have toured with them. I only like a few songs by the band, but Machine is a definite standout. Rebellious, rollicking, with lyrics that offer a candid take on the modern music industry (my personal interpretation of the song), it’s just an awesome piece of music, and you should probably have it somewhere on your playlist. Give it a listen right here:
Two albums released in 2017 really stood out to me, one of them from an old favorite, and one from an artist totally new to me.
Canadian singer/songwriter Lights’ new album Skin & Earthis by far one of her best albums to date, and I have no hesitation in naming it as one of the best albums of the year. Savage, which is one of my favorite songs off the album, is totally unlike anything Lights has done before. Her vocals and lyrics are always on point, but there is a very raw and real anger coming through in this song that I really love. Savage also features Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots on drums, which is pretty awesome, as it’s basically a collaboration between two of my favorite artists ever.
The second album is After Laughter by alternative rock/pop punk band Paramore. I just discovered the band this year, and I am loving their awesome, kind of retro-style rock music. After Laughter has a good mix of slower, quieter songs, and fast, exciting songs that just make you want to get up and dance. Probably my favorite song off the album is Pool, although Hard Times and Fake Happy are also fantastic.
There were several books I read this year that really got my attention, and they all deserve mentions in this post.
The first was Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. It was a heartbreaking, very real story inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement about a girl who witnesses her best friend get shot by a policeman when he wasn’t doing anything wrong. The book has some strong language and innuendo, but the raw, honest story, told through the eyes of a girl who lives with discrimination and fear of police violence every day, more than makes up for any of that. It is a very important book, especially for this moment in time, and I am very glad that I got the chance to read it.
Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt is an intense thriller that delivers all the feels. Brianna’s writing kept me right at the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, and I can hardly wait for the sequel, which should be arriving sometime next year. The story follows Quinn Rogers, a fearless assassin whose past is starting to catch up with her. The book is fairly dark and violent, but there are Christian themes of redemption, as well as a bit of hilarious humor to lighten the mood, and all in all it was just a fantastic read. (I need to read it again soon!) You can check out my full review over on Goodreads.
Finally, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia more than deserves an honorable mention. This was a bittersweet exploration of fandom, online friendships, and anonymity. I was very excited about this book, and it did not disappoint. You can read my review over on Goodreads if you’re interested in my thoughts.
Here are a few things that didn’t really fit into any of the other categories, but which I thought really deserved to be mentioned in this post.
Secret Midnight Press
Secret Midnight Press is an independent publishing company and curiosity brand created by authors Ashley Dun and Jesse Cale, and based in Columbus, Ohio. They publish emotional poetry books, go on book tours with artists like Tessa Violet and GiveMeMotion, and create special seasonal boxes full of books and goodies. I just got Ashley’s book Smoke Signals (burn this) for Christmas (you can check out my review on Goodreads, if you like), and I have tickets to their January show in Columbus, which is also very exciting. They strive to create a safe space for people to express their feelings, and to provide hope to others who are struggling with mental illnesses like depression, or with difficult emotions and circumstances. Above all, they try to stay creative and curious about life. Ashley’s poetry is gorgeous, and I hope to be getting some of their other books soon. I also think that Secret Midnight Press will be a project that I continue to support for years to come, so I thought they deserved a mention on this list
goodDYEyoung is another independent company I’m happy to be able to support.They create vegan, cruelty-free, safe hair dye products in bright , beautiful colors, as well as providing temporary hair color products as well. If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I dyed a bit of my hair using their purple color. I used it straight on my hair, without any bleach, and while it colored my natural hair pretty well, I’m planning to get some of my hair bleached sometime in January, and dye it again. Their semi-permanent colors are PPD free, meaning no nasty chemicals all over your head, and easily mixable so you can get exactly the shade you want. The dye also had natural conditioning agents, leaving your hair silky-smooth and brightly colored. I would highly recommend you check out goodDYEyoung if you’re thinking about dying your hair!
Created by Aimee Meester, the Bright Eyes Project Podcast is a creepy sci-fi adventure taking you to fantastical spaceships, strange purple planets, the depths of space, and more! Complete with enough aliens, conspiracy, mysterious disappearances and cliffhangers to drive anyone crazy (*cough, cough* we need the next episode, Aimee *cough, cough*), Bright Eyes is perfect for any sci-fi lover, whether you’re completely new to the fiction podcast format (like me!) or are a long time listener.
I completed the first draft of Book 1 of my super secret sci-fi project, and wrote over 30,000 words of Book 2… and then promptly got stuck. I’m still trying to figure out where to go next. I’m really excited about this project, but I’m just a bit stuck on it right now.
I wrote over 30 poems, which is very exciting. I used to hate poetry, but then I took most of a poetry course (I never actually finished it… :/) which made me super excited to try writing my own poems! I write in mostly rhyming verse, but I’ve experimented a lot with free verse as well. I basically have a whole book of poems now, but I don’t know if I will actually publish it. We’ll see!
I published my second book this year!The Tangle was released in both paperback and ebook formats on November 4th this year, after being run as a serial novel on Channillo.com. It’s a paranormal suspense novel, which has absolutely nothing to do with my first book, Behind Her Mask was Death (several people have been confused about this) and you can pick up a copy over on Amazon, if you’re interested. 🙂
My blog is officially more than a year old! I totally missed my blogaversary, which happened back in April or May, I believe, but I have now been blogging for over a year. I wrote a total of 70 posts this year, and I hope to write even more in 2018!
I may have mentioned at some point or other that I was planning to release a novellette set in the world of Behind Her Mask was Death this December. Well, obviously, that didn’t actually happen. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish working on the book and getting feedback on it until a couple of days ago, so I will probably publish it sometime in early 2018.
Other than that, I actually don’t have a ton of plans for 2018. I’ll keep working on all my in-progress projects (of which there are a great deal…) and perhaps we’ll see another book at some point, but I don’t know. I’m still struggling with my super secret sci-fi project, so I’m not sure what will happen with that. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Thanks so much for reading my end of the year recommendations and wrap up! I hope you’ll check out a couple of the things on this list, and that your 2017 was a blessed and lovely year. See you in 2018!
December is upon us, bringing with it more cold, snow, holiday stress, and, most importantly, Christmas! And, it also means that it’s time for another monthly wrap up post here on my blog. Let’s jump in, shall we?
The Tangle was published earlier this month, and me and some of my author friends put together an awesome blog tour! I even got to be on my friend Hannah Heath’s YouTube channel for an awesome author interview! You can find the complete list of blog tour stops here.
I finally got out of my reading slump! I’ve haven’t been reading anything besides school books for a long time now, but I finally picked up a few things from the library including the Erased Manga series that was recommended by Hannah Heath, although the first book in that hasn’t actually come in at the library yet, so… Can’t actually read the series yet. 😐
Obviously, Christmas is coming up fast (Yay advent season!) and then it will be 2018! I’m working on a novelette set in the world of Behind Her Mask was Death, which I would like to publish on Kindle in late December. Other than that, I don’t have a lot planned. We’ll just have to see what happens!
Thanks for reading my November wrap up! Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Are you excited about Christmas? (I know I am!) Let’s chat in the comments!