Monthly Highlights - November 2016

November 30, 2016

   November literally flew by. I don't think I've ever felt like I lost so many days so quickly. I blame NaNoWriMo for everything. December ought to be less hectic.

   Anyways. I was too lazy (... or busy ... *shrugs*) to keep good track of everything that happened this month. We'll see how much I can track down and tell you guys about ...

   - Thanksgiving. Obviously. Much food (PIE), board+video games (Settlers of Catan, you guys <3), and singing. It was a blast. And I tried Turkish Delight for the first time! It is ... not what Narnia makes it out to be. But it was okay *shrugs*.  It's kinda like sticky, fruity candy covered in powdered sugar - depending on what flavor you eat.

turkish delight and me *nodnod* I personally like the green ones best

   - My younger sister (Skylar) played in her orchestra's concert and it was so fun to watch her perform (even if we already knew the songs - because she practiced like mad at home, dedicated thing that she is). She's crazy talented on the violin, I love listening to her play. Especially if it's a Narnia/Lord Of The Rings song - not that I'm biased xD.  

   - We set up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving! We were too excited to wait much longer than that - putting up the Christmas tree (and starting to play Christmas music - which I did the day before Thanksgiving xD) heralds in the Christmas season for us, and it's so much fun to do.

   - NaNoWriMo consumed everything for most of the month. But that's for the nest section ...

   - NaNoWriMo. That's honestly it. It took up all the writing things - I had no time for anything else! But at least I hit 50k, so yay for me xD.
   It was exhausting and hard, but most definitely worth it. And I was part of the most epic Google Hangout ever - we were all insane and hyper and super encouraging there. Definitely wouldn't have made it without them *highfives to all my Hangout buddies*
   I actually don't have much to say for this bit. Lots of madly banging on the keyboard and hoping words come out + insane conversation with friends when all my brain cells had been killed by words. It was lots of fun, and I'll definitely be doing it again next year xD.

   *blinks* Wait, I feel like I've forgotten something ... oh, snippets! *sighs* Oh gracious me. Alright, well, I guess I said I'd give you guys some (in an earlier post), so here they are. Entirely unedited, so don't judge.
   *takes a deep breath and shares the words*

   *looks at the snippets*

   *decides to pretend I never showed you* Carry on.


   Yeah, so compared to last month's 29-or-so books, this is a pretty pitiful amount. But you know what's to blame for that ;). At least they were all pretty good books! I'll give you my thoughts on a couple of them ...

   - Some Kind Of Happiness (by Claire Legrand) I got this because the lovely Katie Grace raved about it crazy much, so I figured there must be something to it xD. And OH MY there was. I loved this book - and it's not the type of book I would normally read. I didn't want it to end, but at least the end was so well done. Definitely deserved the 5 stars I gave it (AND it was the only five star book I read this month *nodnod*).

   - Howl's Moving Castle (by Diana Wynne Jones) I still owe it to Tracey, Christine, and Deborah for pestering getting me to read this book. It is epicness and I love it so much. The characters are so amazing and quirky, and even as a third time re-read, I was still able to give it 4 1/2 stars. Which is a big deal because 1) I don't normally re-read books and 2) when I do, they normally get much lower ratings. But this book didn't get a low rating because it is epic, obviously.

   Ooh, also, I won another book this month! My friend Hosanna was having a giveaway for her novella, The Mystery Of The Midnight Trespasser and I was super stoked to win it - it looks great on my shelf and I'm excited to re-read her lovely book. You could should check it out, I think it would be a fun to read aloud to siblings (not that I ever would - I'm terrible at reading aloud xD).

   - Mary Horton got hacked (well, sort of, anyways. She basically knew what we were doing xD) by her friends from the Hangout. It was a blast to write this post congratulating her on beating NaNoWriMo, so go check that out *nodnod*.

   - Sarah Margaret's blog also got (kinda) hacked - and it was a Narnia post for her birthday. There was SO much excitement surrounding the making of this group post. 

   - My friend Hanna Rothfuss did one beautiful post about adoption after another ... and then she did another :D. She's an epic writer, go check her out, too.

   - Hannah White did an amazing post about comparison. Basically all her posts are goals and she's so crazy inspiring all the time. You all need to go follow her *shoos you away*

   - Abbie told everyone why they should play a musical instrument. And now I kinda want to get more serious about piano and violin again ...

   - Liv Fisher did a review on Fantastic Beats and Where To Find Them - a movie I really want to watch *nodnod*

   - Evangeline Yackel did an awesome post about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I still have very mixed feelings about that book.

   - Morning had the EPIC idea to put together an end-of-the-year blogger yearbook. So hurry up and jump over to her blog so that you can be a part of that, because you are not going to want to miss out on this.

   - My friend Micaiah is starting an Advent series on her blog that looks like it's going to be fun + she's having a giveaway, so you'll definitely want to check that out.

   - Abi Ellison is RELEASING A BOOK *shrieks happily* She shares the release date in this post here, so go check that out and remember that date ;).

   EDIT: (yes, my goldfish memory is coming into play again, but I had to add this xD) - Hanna also posted the first part of Catania's Forest, a serial story she wrote. It's a retelling of The Little Drummer Boy that she'll be posting through out December. *shoos you away to read that*

   -- Last month's goals -- 

   - Ace NaNoWriMo. It happened, it happened, you guys! *dies*  *does not think about All. The. Editing. that will have to happen*

   - No requesting library books. HA, no xD. I just couldn't help it! ... but at least I only got a few *shrugs*.

   -- This month's goals --

   - ... not making goals this month. I'll just let things happen as they do. It's Christmas season - which either means lounging around and reading a book or panicking about last-minute things that still need to get done. 
   Hopefully it is the former xD. 

   (because we all know that I'm constantly rambling xD)

   Actually, I don't have anything super planned out for December. I'll probably being joining in the Beautiful People linkup and I have a book (an anthology call 'Once') that I'm supposed to review, but other than that I have no idea. I'll just go with the flow *nodnod*.

   So THAT was the insanely writer-ly November of mine. Hope you guys had a good one, too - and I hope that it was a little less crazy than mine was xD.

~ Savannah Grace

How was your November? Tell me of all your adventures! And what are some posts that you guys want me to do in December?

28 Days Into NaNoWriMo - My Conclusion

November 28, 2016

   I just beat NaNoWriMo 2016 and I am so exhausted. So exhausted. *collapses* Enjoy my nonsensical rambling (I promise I'm more coherent when it's not the middle of NaNo xD)

   Day 1. I was totally ready to go. My story was going to rock and I couldn't wait to get started. Everything was wonderful and glorious and I basically was wheeling around in excitement, ready to try and write 50k with a bunch of other insane writers.

   The wiser people laughed and told me 'there is no way you will end up with that same attitude at the end of the month'.
   These wise people were correct. Because then came the writer's block. For those of you who don't know, writer's block is not good during NaNoWriMo. Not good. Also, my characters decided to run off and leave me wondering where I was, lost in the middle of some strange story.

   But I carried on and tried as well as I could to wrangle and beat my story into shape. My characters beat me right back, and mostly nothing got done. Somehow. This seemed wrong to me.

   But I think my characters just wanted a smarter author who wouldn't force them to behave for the whole of November. Especially when the author had no idea whatsoever about what was going on in her story.

my characters, complaining about me

   Anyways. Somehow the days kept rolling by, and soon enough I came to the last week of NaNoWriMo (not sure how that happened. I was kind of in a daze, I think) - and I was behind on my word-count. Which I had told myself I wouldn't do. But somehow it had happened, and I was internally freaking out.

   So I sat down and had a nice little chat with my characters, and promised them candy if they would just behave (last resorts, people, last resorts). Of course, they said no.
   So I sharpened my sword pen, decided not to take no for an answer, and went at it with all I had.

    Maybe it was my magic Legolas sword that helped - or maybe it was just that my characters thought they might as well indulge me for just one week - but I finished my story.
   I repeat, Savannah Grace completed NaNoWriMo 2016 (not sure how many of my brain cells survived through this endeavor, but still *shrugs*).

   But all NaNoWriMo writers know what it feels like to finish a story during this crazy November event. We kind of look at the 50k words we just wrote, and we're not sure what to think.
   I don't even know how half of my scenes (... or characters ...) got into my story, and half the characters I'm simply annoyed at xD.  

   Anyways. That was my little adventure (*cough* that took up the whole month *cough*). I don't know how much of my sanity is left after all that, but insane writers are the best writers.

   Also, BIG thank yous to all the writers who encouraged me to keep going during the whole of November, especially to all of you in the Hangout (and to my sister Skylar for surprising me with gel pens when I finally beat NaNo). Without all of those crazy word sprints (and our ridiculous/writer-ly conversations) I definitely wouldn't have made it xD. You're all the best!

   *deep breath* Okay, I'm done. And I may or may not be sharing some snippets from The Dreamer's Game in my next Monthly Highlights posts - so be on the look out for those *nodnod*.   

~ Savannah Grace

   How was your NaNoWriMo adventure, friends? Are you ready to start editing, or are you simply blocking all thoughts of it? If you didn't do NaNo this year, are you going to next year?

Fall-Tastic Favorites Tag

November 23, 2016

   I kinda wanted to do this in vlog form - but it was rainy and dreary today, so I decided not to. Oh well. Maybe I'll do a Q&A type vlog sometimes, but today is not that day. (plus, Mary already did this tag in vlog form just two days ago, so then I'd be a copycat xD)

   ANYWAYS, I'm rambling left, right, and center now. Onto the tag (thanks, Morgan!). 

   1. Favorite Fall Holiday

   So there are like ... *is lazy and doesn't count* very few major holidays in Autumn. But even if I'm picking out of all the holidays in the whole YEAR, Thanksgiving is one of my top favorites. We have the best time on Thanksgiving - all of us kids are super hyper (... like we are on all holidays ...) and we watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade together while waiting for relatives to arrive. Then the real party starts. It's tons of fun xD.

2. Favorite Fall Ingredient: Caramel, Pumpkin or Pecan? 

   Huh. I actually don't eat much pumpkin stuff (*shields self from all the tomatoes now being thrown*), other than pumpkin pie, and peanuts don't make an appearance in this house much, due to allergies. So ... I guess I shall pick caramel *nodnod*. But seriously, I love caramel, you guys. It's so good.
3. Favorite Fall Movie

   What do you consider a Fall movie? *is confused* 

   Oh well. Mary (who, as I said, did this tag a couple days ago) said The Fellowship Of The Ring might be a fall-ish movie, and it seemed like quite a few people agreed. So I pick The Fellowship Of The Ring. If you guys know me, you probably know that I am a Lord Of The Rings addict and probably expected my answer to this question xD. But that movie is epicness. EPICNESS.  
4. Favorite Fall Candle
   We don't actually have any candles in our house - but I want some. I need some pretty, scented candles to put on my bookshelf and light when I'm writing. My bookshelf + writing space is sadly deprived of decorations. So I need to get some candles.  I would want ... I don't even know what kind of scented candles they have ... do they have pine? Because I would love pine. Or maybe cinnamon. *nodnod*. 

5. Favorite Fall Drink 

   HOT CHOCOLATE. I haven't had it in a shamefully long time, but I love it.

6. Favorite Item Of Clothing For The Fall

   Oooh, this was a pretty easy answer - I have a coat that I'm absolutely adore (*points to 'about me' picture*). Even if it's a little more winter-y, I've been wearing it in the fall because I love it. And then I pair it with boots because boots are epic.  

7. Favorite Fall Outing/Activity

   Oh good grief, this one is hard. One of the things I loved doing last year was going out every night with my sisters (and our friends who lived next door) to watch the stars and just talk. Even though that's not exactly an 'activity', I loved doing that.
   As for a more legit outing/activity thing - I love going to pumpkin patches with my family. We've been to multiple different pumpkin patches, some better and some worse, and it's always fun! 

8. Favorite Candy

   *tries to think of a candy I associate with fall* *fails* Maybe Reese's peanut butter cups? I kind of associate those with Fall, because we eat them a lot around Halloween time.

9. Favorite Fall Weather

   All of it. I love all the Fall weather. Foggy, freezing (well, freezing to other people - I'm not very good at feeling cold when I'm outside xD), raining. So long as it's Fall, I'll love it *nodnod*. 

10. Favorite At Home Meal 

   Basically any of Thanksgiving food ever *nodnod*. There is so much good food cooked around here on Thanksgiving! Especially my mom's mashed potatoes, I love those so much.
   Oh, and pie. Always pie. ALL THE PIE.   

   So there is my contribution to all the Autumn-ish/Thanksgiving posts that have been going up lately xD. Take the tag if ya want it, even if Fall is almost over (what is this tragedy?!).

   *waves goodbye to Autumn* *turns to watch Winter roll in*

~ Savannah Grace 

What kind of scented candle would you want? Should I do a Q&A vlog at some point?

17 Days Into NaNo - My Snippets

November 17, 2016

   *realizes I've only posted twice during the whole of this month* I thoroughly blame NaNoWriMo for everything. I'm innocent, I tell you!

   I even thought I had done a '3 Days Into NaNo' post earlier in November ... but apparently I didn't. Anyways. Now you're getting a '17 Days Into NaNo' post.

   SO I'm a little lazy and I really should be writing. I'll give you a slew of snippets and be on my merry way *nodnod*. Also, these are entirely unedited. Just saying. Don't judge.

   Oh, did I mention these are all from The Dreamer's Game? Well, they are. I'm still trying to beat that novel into shape. Not sure why *shrugs*.  

   Yup, and there are those. I'm finally at 30k words - and I feel like most of it is junk. But maybe I'll be able to save 1/4 of the final 50k. We'll see *nodnod*.

   Sorry about my lack of posting this month, I'm afraid that my brain has been reduced to nothing by my insane novel *goes back to typing madly*.

   Oh, and if I don't ever come back ... blame my novel.

~ Savannah Grace

    What's the first sentence of your current novel? {and are you excited for Thanksgiving?! I AM)  

Beautiful Books 2016 - Novel Update

November 12, 2016

   It is the twelfth day of NaNoWriMo.  I think I lost my sanity on day one *dies*.    

yes, the picture has something to do with my story - but I'm not telling what *zips lips*

   So ... the novel that I started NaNo with (The Dreamer's Game - The Game had a title switch) is ... well, kind of not working out XD. I think I might be switching to a different novel at some point (editing Killing Snow, maybe), so I figured that I should tell you guys more about The Dreamer's Game before I put it on the back burner for awhile *nodnod*.

   ANYWAYS, basically this Beautiful Books Linkup post is about me and The Dreamer's Game - the next one might not be ... but it could be. Depends on if my novel fully abandons me or not.

   Carry on. 

1. Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

   That is my mental state. I'm literally banging on the keys and hoping something other than scrap-pile stuff will come out XD. Sometimes it does - sometimes it doesn't. End of story. And you guys already heard how my novel is going *points above*. 

2. What's your first sentence (or paragraph)? 

   Oh, dear me. There's no possible way I'm sharing my first paragraph with you, sorry. But I suppose I'll be a nice little dragon and not hoard all my story words - here's the first sentence;

3. Who's your current favorite character in your novel?

   Ooh, that's hard. My story and I aren't really on the same page right now, so ... not many special attachments to any certain character. And that's not to say that I don't love the characters - I do, but I pretty much love 'em all the same. (though, there is one named Matthias that I'm a tad partial to *nodnod*)  

some of the characters *nodnod*

4. What do you love about your novel so far?

   It's ridiculous and crazy and I never know where it's going - literally. I can have a thought bubble pop and pretty much always find a place for it in The Dreamer's Game
   Not even kidding. Just the other day I thought 'I want there to be a giant chess board in this story' and boom, that's where the story went. This story is easy, but I think that's what's making it so hard. I can make it go in any direction, but the story and I don't know what direction to go in!
   Let's put this thing there and then send all the characters over here and put this funny little plot twist in over there and, guess what? No thinking is involved! XD 

   Thus, I do not think *nods sagely*. 

5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

   Huh. None that I can think of - I've had half a million typos appear in my story, but they always annoy me to death so I fix them right away *nodnod*. 
   I am prone to forgetting characters though. Since I pantsed this novel, I only had a few sketchy ideas about it - so when I actually started writing the novel, I kept forgetting the ideas that I had XD. It was kind of amusing to suddenly have characters knocking on my brain and saying 'you forgot me, you forgot me!'  

6. What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end - and why? 

   ... what kind of question is this?

   Well, I can at least say that the middle is definitely not my favorite. It's like when I tried to crochet - it starts out okay, the middle is normally a great big jumble, but by the end it's kind of okay again XD.

7. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!       

   One writing habit I have is to stop and correct every typo I make. Immediately. Even during word sprints. I just can't stand seeing those pesky little misspelled words!

   Nope, no snacks - I would quite writing and just eat XD. There was that time I bribed myself with rainbow licorice, though. That worked well, I wrote lots of words that day *nods* *eats more rainbow licorice*

   Music just depends. If I feel like grabbing my tablet or my siblings are watching a show that has music, then sure. I don't care, honestly.

   Time of day is probably either morning or evening. I have a very big lack of motivation in afternoon - no idea why *shrugs*. Afternoons are just ... lazy. Mornings and evenings are when I feel like hammering out all the words.

   I have three (normal) writing places - typing on my laptop while sitting on the couch, handwriting in our bedroom (with my hoard of books looking on and probably frowning at my sad attempt of a novel), or typing on my laptop while sitting at the table.   

   My normal writing buddies - a random book (Catching Fire hasn't been put on my shelf yet, so it sits next to me and watches me write), a notebook and gel pens (I will not write without gel pens. Just no), and my computer (who lets me bang mercilessly on his keys during word wars *nodnod*)
8. How private are you about your novel while you're writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?  

   WHOA does this mean if I work completely alone, I get to be Batman? I didn't know about this deal! *cries* *wonders how many writers have been Batman already* 

   But anyways. I'll normally tell people a little bit about my novel if I'm actually thinking about writing it (I have a horrible problem with plot bunnies), but I work mostly alone until I'm ready to hand it over to beta/alpha readers. 

9. What keeps you writing even when it's hard? 

   My friends. God. All the writers who cheer me up and on (probably without even knowing it). Family. Looking at all the shiny books on my bookshelf and thinking that, someday, maybe my book will look like one of those.
   Reading through an old work that I haven't seen in forever and remembering how much I loved the story. The itch in my fingers when I get a really good idea. The beta readers who want to read my stories even when they're messy. All the 'NaNo '16 Cabin' writers.
   Every single one of you who's ever been even a little bit interested in reading my writings - this blog included. You guys keep me going.

10. What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

   1. Find some writer friends, even if you normally work alone. Seriously. I mean it. My writing and my motivation to do so always escalate after I have a writer-ly conversation with a friend :D.  Plus, they're normally perfectly open to ranting with you over the hardships of a writer's life - or celebrating wildly once you've reached a major milestone *nods*.

   2. Word Sprints. I command that all ye writers must find someone to do word sprints with you - though this is mostly NaNoWriMo advice. I can normally coax my sister into doing it with me, or one of my NaNo friends will. It ups my word count by a mile, and my word count would definitely be a whole lot lower right now if it wasn't for all the word sprints I've been joining in!

3. Don't worry about first-draft perfection. This can come later. Like ... fifth draft later. I'm not kidding. I gave my third draft to my beta readers, and it definitely wasn't perfect (and many thanks to them for helping me with that project!). And I don't even expect it to be perfect once I give it an edit - it will need many edits before I even think of trying to publish it. So I definitely would never even try to have my first-draft be perfect!

   You would probably wonder why I'm even trying to write if you read my first draft for 'The Dreamer's Game' right now. There is almost no plot. The characters are flat. I don't know where anything is going and all sense has abandoned me. But I like to just have fun with it - it doesn't need to be perfect, so I'm basically just messing around.

   And then later, I'll scrap 3/4 of it and work with what I've got once that happens. I can worry in the second draft, but the first one is all for fun. 

~ Savannah Grace

   How is NaNoWriMo going for you, oh scribbling scribes (or if you aren't doing NaNo, how's your current novel coming along)? Are there any characters you're especially attached to?

Book Review - Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall

November 8, 2016

4 1/2 STARS

Title: Unwritten Melody 
Author: Tessa Emily Hall 

   Tessa Hall is a Christian author who had her first book (Purple Moon) published when she was only 19, and I've heard wonderful things about it, so I couldn't pass up the chance to read her newest book, Unwritten Melody - which is releasing in on November tenth. 

   I wasn't sure what to think of it when I first started (it's rare that you'll find me reading anything in the genre), but by the end of the book I was more than ready to give it a good rating. I had no idea Tessa's books were so beautiful - otherwise I would have already read Purple Moon. 

   The plot started out as being slight cliche - or so I though, as this changed once I got a bit further in the book - but the characters were wonderful and realistic. Tessa didn't gloss over their flaws and the troubles they had. It was very well paced, and the conclusion was so hope-filled, I absolutely loved it. It might be one of the best endings I've ever read.   

   There were some more mature things in the book, but Tessa handled them very well, so I'd probably recommend this book for 14+, maybe 13+. 

   All in all, I think Unwritten Melody was a wonderful, powerful book, and it fully deserved those four-and-a-half stars. Definitely made me want to read Purple Moon, too. If you've ever been interested in reading one of Tessa's books, I would definitely say go for it.    
(I was given this ebook by the author in exchange for my honest review)

Summary (taken from Tessa's blog)

Does breaking free require breaking the rules?
Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams. 

James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album. 

As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder—did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?
Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.

   Author Bio

   Tessa Emily Hall is an author of YA inspirational fiction, including Purple Moon (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2014 Selah Finalist) and Unwritten Melody (November 2016, Clean Reads). She’s also the Editor of, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their God-given potential. Other than writing, Tessa’s passionate about blogging at and speaking to teens, encouraging them to pursue their dreams.


Visit Tessa's blog and website, buy her first book, Purple Moon, and check out the kick off post for the Unwritten Melody tour.

~ Savannah Grace

   Have you ever read any of Tessa's books? What did you think?
(and what's a book that you think I should read+review?)