Blog-tember Challenge // Day 3: Summer Favorites

I first heard about Blog-tember on the Chasing Creative podcast (Episode 4 with Leah Van Ert) and that was like last month. Well because it’s September now it popped up in my Instagram feed and I have been wanting to blog more, so I’m jumping in a couple days late—and now a day behind—to the party, but I’m learning that it’s okay to do that (says the girl who still hasn’t read The Hunger Games). So here’s me jumping in feet first, no looking back, no second thoughts.

—–

I just made a list of my favorite events of the summer, going back all the way to June (and one event from the end of May—it totally counts!) Yeah…there are 36 of them. This was a good summer, a great one, one for the books—er, blog. So, here we go:

Day 3 Summer Favorites

May:

  • I completed/finished/wrote the very last words to my Realistic YA Fiction work-in-progress, my Amy Story. It was a surprise. I was shocked. (I might’ve screamed). But it was the coolest feeling! And a bit emotional too.

30 (3)

June:

  • a picnic dinner at the Auburn Library’s Garden Theater to the performance of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Fantastic.

2 (29)

  • starting the anime Fullmetal Alchemist // I’m learning so much about story and characters from this anime + All The Feelings
  • paying off our credit card!!!! Student Loan #2, we’re coming for ya 😀
  • Weddings for baby cousins that basically turn into family reunions ❤
  • Jewel and I ditched the potluck at church this month and attended the Croatian Festival in Sacramento. I will definitely go with you next year, Jewel. Delicious food!
  • Anthony’s birthday: we went hiking and got Jamba Juice. We ate pie and ice cream with friends and family, and then took three of our friends to Mongolian BBQ for dinner, followed by Settlers of Catan afterwards
  • bowling for Mom’s birthday 🙂
  • coffee with Monica at Origin ’til 10 o’clock at night–on a work night!!!

July:

  • I joined WattPad 🙂
  • my sister, Kady, and I went and saw Finding Dory for our sister date = so good! (possibly better than Finding Nemo. shhh, don’t tell anyone I said that).
  • all of the writing and story convos Anthony and I had because July = Camp NaNoWriMo ❤
  • playing with kittens (my first time ever seeing kittens in real life!) and then bringing home the two boys, Ed and Al (who, yes they are named after the two brothers of the already mentioned anime) #wearenerdy #andweloveit
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Alphonse (black & white kitten) and Edward (black kitten) at 2 months old 🙂
  • hiking Horsetail falls

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  • celebrating three years of marriage with movie theater popcorn, cruncha bunches, soda (of course), and The Secret Life of Pets
  • trips to the library 🙂
  • our Monterey Family Vacay (I don’t normally use “vacay” in a sentence or when talking, but it rhymes). This trip included but wasn’t limited to: grey skies, jeans, hoodies, bare feet all the time, a hot tub, silly conversations, family breakfasts and dinners, chasing the waves with the siblings at 9 o’clock at night, a smokey hike to Fern “Pond” (but the coolest shade of green ever), and the cutest book store/coffee shop in Pacific Grove, the ocean, and salty air.
  • we became a two car family again
  • All the Movie nights: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Bridge of Spies, Zootopia (with Jewel), and The Martian. I appreciate humor and story so much more now. And I love movies that make me think.

August:

  • I got to see Monica a SECOND time during the summer. It was sandwiched in between family vacations and rotations, after work and before Bible study, so it was only like an hour and half at best but we did! And it was so good for my soul 🙂

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  • Aaron Watson at Ace of Spades with Jewel and Allie
  • The Bookseller in Grass Valley YA Book Panel 🙂
  • discovering that golden sunlight
  • Voylerwood (Voyles + Erler + Norwood) brunch
  • this baby: 30
  • The Purpose Hotel
  • meeting Mom’s new puppy, Buster
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You know you’ve been living without a dog for too long when you try to play with a puppy like you would cats. This may or may not have happened.
  • messaging an instagram follower on Goodreads when she disappeared from Instagram and now we’re messaging each other on GoodReads and it’s the best kind of surprise and feelings = Real Life Internet Friend 🙂
  • receiving love in the form of a typewriter from two sisters and one brother in Christ. (Our church family is the best!)

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  • doing overnights at one of the best care homes in the business
  • our spontaneous Barnes & Nobles date 🙂
  • Jewel’s potato soup
  • breakfast for dinner, conversation, and baby-playing with the big-little sister. We talked about Harry Potter and Work and Azzie and we now have Jen Hatmaker in common (<— & that’s obviously important)

IMG_3206

Favorite things that were constants throughout our summer:

  • laundromat dates
  • running errands together
  • Magic Nights: laughter + book talk + good food + the company = my favorite way to end the week
  • Bible Reading
  • Monday night Devos
  • the mornings of the months we were a one car family Anthony would drop me off at Starbucks. I would write and then walk to work. I also became a regular during this time! Just call me Small Hot Chocolate 😉
  • The random times we were able to eat fast food (#luxury). I think we ate at In-N-Out, Foster’s Freeze, Subway, and Taco Bell (those crunchy tacos are still on point).

Favorite Podcasts:

  • Chasing Creative // I’m only through Episode 10, but it’s fantastic. But I’ve also listened to Episodes 24 and 25. I’m still hoping I make it through Season 1 before Season 2 happens.
  • The STORY Podcast // This is based on the Story Conference that happens in TN at the end of September (#bucketlist) There are only two episodes so far, but that first one with Jeremy Cowart was perfect.
  • The Lazy Genius podcast // granted I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but very important words were spoken about adult friendships and that’s why it’s here.

Favorite Websites/Article/Videos:

  • K.M. Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors // I purchased her books Storming and Structuring Your Novel because 30,000 words into Camp NaNoWriMo I realized my story has no structure and that this might be a similar problem with my Amy Story.
  • The Lazy Genius Collective // I discovered Kendra through Chasing Creative (Episode 10) and their conversation was so full of love and honesty and Real Life. I felt like they had pulled out a chair and invited me to sit with them. Kendra’s Bullet Journal post was perfect–I’ve obviously been making it more complicated than necessary and I wanted to find a different planner for next year, but after reading her take on it I’ve decided to give it another go 🙂
  • Abbigail Kriebs’s take on Fiction. It’s lovely.
  • Emily Freeman on Hope
  • Diana Anderson Tyler and her takeaways from Robert McKee’s Story. It’s going to be a good series.
  • Jon Acuff and his family carried a mattress upstairs on Facebook Live. (Unfortunately, I can’t post videos to WordPress yet, but here’s a link to Jon’s Facebook page).

Favorite Books I Read:

  • Jeff Goins’s You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) // There is a pitching how-to section and I am all sorts of excited because I want to start writing for magazines and websites
  • all of John Corey Whaley’s books
  • Deb Caletti’s Essential Maps for the Lost
  • I’m From Nowhere by Suzanne Myers
  • The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han surprised me in the best way
  • favorite re-reads: Saint Anything and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

—–

We’re welcoming September into our lives with a cold (the husband half) and a wedding (my side) and a three-day weekend that hopefully takes us to the ocean on Labor Day, cold-pending.

Here’s to writing more this month, revising my Amy story, and cooler weather 🙂

Until next time,

Tracy

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