Monthly Highlights - April 2017

April 30, 2017

   April was such a good month - we had heaps of fun, and I wrote heaps of words! Want to hear about it?

April Highlights 2017 - Post Header Image

Monthly Highlights

   - My sisters + brother and dad traveled to watch the FEI World Cup Showjumping Finals and OH MY. That's definitely something I'm never going to forget. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. It's the coolest feeling ever to jump to your feet with 17k other people and cheer at the top of you lungs when an American rider wins on American soil for the first time in 30 years. So incredibly awesome.

FEI World Cup Showjumping Finals - Maclain Ward

    *smacks the sad little photo that I took with my phone* Best I got xD. And we were sitting so close to the arena that we could hear the horses breathing when they went by. Like I said - so incredibly awesome.

   - There were some fair-sized storms in April (<3 <3 <3), which made for epic reading weather. Which meant that my Camp NaNoWriMo wordcount may or may not have suffered a bit on those days. But I have no regrets! :D   

   - Musical-sister performed with her orchestra, and one of the songs they played was one of her originals. It was so so cool to watch and hear them playing one of her masterpieces. <3        

Writerly Things

   Where do I even start?

   - Camp NaNoWrimo. I had started out saying that I was going to hit 75k - and then totally forgot that I can't write that fast when it's not a zero (or first) draft. So I switched it to 50k, which I realized just wasn't going to be doable for this draft (no matter how much I really really wanted it to be) - so I ended up on 30k, which I hit a few days before the end of Camp. So I sort of managed to lose AND win, but I'm super happy with how this month turned out.

   - I got half of my novel, Killing Snow, written. Killing Snow was my Camp novel, so all 30k went to it. And once I had won, I decided that I wasn't stopping there, because it'll be a lot harder to start up again if I stop! So I set up a goal tracker on the NaNoWriMo site, and I'm planning to finish the other half of Killing Snow in May.   

   - I've had many ideas on how to expand The Testing into a full novella. I'm trying to keep it on the back-burner without killing it, because I need to get Killing Snow done first. But the plot bunnies have been coming at me full force so SEND HELP. xD
click the image to read the bit of the story that I posted on here - before I knew it wanted to be a FULL story ;)

   I'd give y'all the usual snippets - but I'm too brain-dead to look for anything suitable to share :D. However, you will get snippets in my post about Camp NaNo - which should go up around the 4th of May, along with my Camp NaNo vlog. It'll be lots of fun ;).   


Collage Of Books Read In April 2017
+ the Five Enchanted Roses collection, Rehabilitation by C.B. Stone, and Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Worst book: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Best book: It's a direct draw between Heartless (Marissa Meyer) and A Time To Speak (Nadine Brandes)

   And of course I forgot a good portion of the books I read and had to add them in as a caption. Of course. Anyways - I found a new favorite book this month! A Time To Speak by Nadine Brandes was pure gold. I loved it death, it was so amazing. Definitely, definitely a book that I would recommend.

  - Heartless by Marissa Meyer. Not a book for everyone, I'll admit that for sure, but I loved it (or hated it, whatever. It's kinda simultaneous for this book). Heartless is a retelling of the Queen Of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland, and I was super curious as to how Marissa Meyer was going to pull that off. I honestly didn't know if she'd be able to - until I started reading the thing. Then (because she's Marissa Meyer, people) I was pretty sure she'd be able to do it. And OH BOY, you guys - that ending. I couldn't. My poor heart. My sister and I are still mourning it xD. A great big five stars for this book. 

   - A Time To Speak by Nadine Brandes. This book, you guys. I couldn't stop reading it once I started, and it was so amazing. I have no words. (literally, I'm having a hard time writing this because NO WORDS) The characters were some of the best I've seen, and I'm so picky about characters. The plot drew me in until I couldn't put the book down if I'd wanted to. The highest praise I can give this thing is that, should I ever need to pick my top-favorite series of all time, the Out Of Time series would be one of the top contenders for that name. I can't even with this book. A full five stars and more. 

   Also, I wrote a review of White Wolf And The Ash Princess (by Tammy Lash) this month, and I'll be writing a review of A Question Of Honor in May, if you want more of my bookish thoughts ;).


Elsewhere Online

- Alea did an epic post on how to create professional book covers (and she's also the epic girl who created the epic mock cover for Killing Snow, and her other cover work is AH-MAZING, so definitely check that out).

- Jonathan is still slaying it with his posts about faith and writing (<--- and that's only one of them). They're seriously awesome, you guys.

- Emily wrote a gorgeous poem that I couldn't get over. <3

- Burning Youth is killing it. Like usual. I won't even bother linking to all the posts - here's the blog.

- Madison did a guest post on Abi Ellison's blog on hooking readers with your first line, and it was one of the best posts I've read on the topic.

- Hanna did a amazing post about when we need a hero. I love it. Go read it. <3

- A post when up on Helping Writers Become Authors on moving the plot and OH BOY was it helpful.

- Abi posted and gave us an awesome checklist for self-publishing writers - and it's super helpful even if you aren't planning to self publish!

- Apparently people were into first drafts during April? Because Nadine, Katie, and myself all did a post on them ;).

Ramblings To Come

   My NaNo vlog. The awesome Katie Grace did a vlog about her NaNoWriMo last year, and I decided to do one chronicling Camp April 2017 (somewhat sporadically), as an apology for slacking so much during April. But I guess I did have an excuse :D.

   The vlog should be going up around May 4th, and then another How To Liven Up Your Character post, and a review of A Question Of Honor will be coming along, too. Lots of cool stuff ;).   

   So that was April! Probably one of the best months I've had this year - and now I'm super excited to see what May is going to bring!

~ Savannah Grace

   What awesome stuff happened in your April? Have you read Heartless or A Time To Speak? Did you survive Camp NaNoWriMo? (I dearly hope so!)


  1. I survived Camp, although (as usual) I faltered halfway and it didn't look like I was going to make it. My draft's only maybe 1/3 finished, though, so it looks like I'll be trying to keep going for a few more months!

    I've read A Time to Die, but not the other two, sadly. I really want to - A Time to Die was so good!

    Lovely to hear about your month and Camp experience, Savannah!

    Jem Jones

    1. Some words are always better than none! And 1/3 of the way through is WAY better than none of the way through ;). Awesome job! *highfives* I'm going to keep going during May, too.

      YOU NEED TO READ THEM! The next two books only get better. Thanks for reading, Jem ;).

  2. I want to read some of these books - I didn't love Heartless at all, although I didn't hate it the way some people did. It was just... Meh. But I'm glad you liked it! It's definitely a book for some people and not others.

    My birthday happened this April (!!!!) and it was wonderful. I also did a wrapup post for the first time :) I posted snippets *gulps*

    I survived because, after the first ten days, I got nothing done. It was wonderful. But I managed to rewrite a few chapters of Watched and it was good.

    I'm so glad you got to go to the horse thing! I used to LOVE horses when I was younger. :)

    1. I haven't seen anyone bashing on Heartless yet, but OH BOY do I bet people have, it being the book it was xD.

      Oh, happy late birthday, my friend! <3 And you wrote some of Watched? That so awesome - Watched sounds like it's going to be an AMAZING book, I can't wait until people get to read more of it.

  3. Storms are beaaauuutiful reading weather indeed. Too bad we don't get very many in my corner of Alaska. :/

    Congratulations on Camp NaNo! 30k is about 29k more words than I wrote this month. xD *hides*

    Huh, maybe I should try Heartless... I just finished The Lunar Chronicles, so now would be the time...

    K, I'm reading the Out of Time series someday too...

    Looks like you had a great April! :)

    1. AGREED in full *sends you some thunderstorms* I love reading while it rains ;).

      Haha, well 1k is definitely better than no words! "Some words is better than no words" has kind of become my motto this month. And YES, read Out Of Time! I love it love it love it <3.

      I hope you have a great May, Meredith!

  4. Congratulations on your progress on Killing Snow! I wasn't able to participate officially in Camp, but I am DETERMINED to finish my steampunk pirates novel, Karissa Goldlock's Guide to (Almost) Utterly Everything, this month if it kills me. (Which it probably will, at this rate.)

    I've been wondering whether or not to read Heartless! It looks lovely, but I've heard a lot about how Cath is apparently rather annoying with little to no character development. :( I was in a heck of a reading slump for most of April (I'm still knee deep, actually), but I did enjoy Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien and A Good American by Alex George.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. Karissa Goldlock's Guide to (Almost) Utterly Everything - can I just say how much I LOVE your title? It makes me smile right when I hear it. And then it's steampunk pirates, which sounds AMAZING. Don't ever give up on this thing, Ellie!

      I've heard people say that she was annoying, but since I heard those opinions AFTER I read it, they didn't sway me, haha xD. And I really need to read more of Tolkien's stuff sometime SOON ...

      Thanks for reading, Ellie!

  5. They are both most certainly on my mental to read list. I read the first three books of the Lunar Chronicles this month and LOVED THEM. Ahhhhhhhhh.

    Congratulations on winning Camp NaNo! Even if you didn't hit your original goal, you still did it, right?? Unlike some people over here... *blushes*

    I'll look out for the vlog. I'm thinking about doing one, but the very idea of talking in front of a camera is... Umm... TERRIFYING. 😣 Oh dear. Perhaps I shall conquer my fears and do one anyway. Good luck!

    -Zane Jones at Simple Impossibilities

    1. Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress were AMAZING. Funny thing is, I halfway skimmed Cress on my first time through (I MIGHT have been a bit excited to get to Winter) and seriously regretted that after I read it (fully!) a second time and realized how much epicness I'd missed, haha xD.

      You definitely should! Vlogs are so much fun, even if they're short ;). I'm excited to get it posted!

  6. YEEAAAH can't wait for the NaNo vlog!! I loooove a good survival story. *sage nod* xD

    I did manage to beat NaNo, but only barely? I had a small goal (7.5k) because April was busy, but I was pretty far behind... and then I exactly wrote like 2k on the last day?? SO HELLO YES #accidentalwin

    1. "Survival story" Well, in an OPTIMISTIC light, sure - otherwise I'm still over here DYING xD.

      Some words is better than no words! And YAY for accidental wins - they're epic *highfive*.

  7. Congrats on winning!! And I can't wait for the vlog!!

    I'm so excited to read Heartless.

    1. I can't wait to post it!

      Knowing you, you'll either REALLY love it, or REALLY hate. I'm curious as to what you'll think :D.

  8. I finally smacked my fear of public speaking in the face, and read a poem in front of actual people. *SQEALS*
    So, yeah, that was pretty exciting. That was pretty
    I haven't read those books, but I saw the cover for "A Time To Speak" and it looks really good. I might check it out.
    I haven't ever done Camp NaNoWriMo before, but maybe sometime in my life. I'm not very good with deadlines. I like to write at my own pace (well, my own pace means that I never get anything done, so...yeah. lol)
    Pray that a first draft of my recently started WIP get's done this year. Lol This summer will be the time for me to write my brains out. :D

    1. Oh, and the Showjumping sounds so cool!

    2. AWESOME job smacking your fear of public speaking, LHE! Good for you, you're brave ;).

      Yeah, Camp NaNoWriMo is pretty deadline-oriented, which is half of the reason why I love it. I thrive on deadlines :D. But you should try it sometimes, just to say you have!

      I will! This summer's going to be time for me to write+edit my brains out, too xD.

    3. Thanks. I'm not quite sure the anxiety's gone, but I know I can do it now. Lol
      Yeah, I think it'd b fun to see how far I could go! :)
      Ugh. I'm gonna try to finish my first draft of my new WIP, but knowing me, it might take a little bit longer.
      *grabs plot bunnies and scolds them*

  9. White Wolf and the Ash Princess cover?!?! It makes me want to read it right now!!!
    Fun post, Savannah!!

    -Cerra Cat-

    1. Doesn't it? It's SO pretty. Thanks for reading, Cerra!

  10. Awesome post, sis!! ;)
    BTW, That picture from the FEI world cup wasn't as bad as you think, girl! =DD Getting to travel there was AWESOME. *sing song voice* LOVED IT!! =) lol
    The Testing is AWESOME, totally make it a novel, K?? =)
    AND YOU READ TWELVE BOOKS??? How is it that I can only read, like, four or five in a month, and you can read TWELVE!!?? CRAZY, I tell you, crazy. =P
    Jaidyn Elise

    1. Well, I edited it some so that it wasn't AS terrible as it was, haha xD. And I'm curious to see where The Testing ends up going! It's being pesky, but I'm excited about ;).

      Twelve books, and yet it was a NaNo month. Sometimes I'm not smart xD. Thanks for reading!

    2. Haha, I know! ;) xD I hope it goes far, girl! =D BTW, that's awesomeness. ;)

      But, sometimes, you ARE smart!! LOL =PP
      <3 YA!
      Jaidyn Elise

  11. 30k is a ton of words!! That's awesome! I can't wait for some snippets... :) And a VLOG! :D

    HEARTLESS. *dies* I don't know how I survived that ending...

    I hope you have a wonderful May! (Can you believe April's OVER already?! -_- )

    1. Thank you so much! I'm excited for y'all to see the vlog + snippets ;).

      I KNOW. WHAT EVEN. I was dying over it for days.

      You too, my friend! <3

  12. Oh my goodness, what a fun month you had! :D I'm so glad! Oh wow. I'm not sure I've ever heard of the FEI World Cup Showjumping Finals, but it looks like it was amaaaaaazing!!!!!!! How totally epic you got to go to that! EEP.

    That is awesome you sister's original song was played by the orchestra! HOW SPECIAL!!!

    Girl, doing 30k words of a stubborn rewrite in a MONTH is AH-MAY-ZING. Definitely, DEFINITELY winning! Don't even sort of say you lost because NO. 100% WIN. And I think it's good you decided to give your story the time it deserves and take it slower, instead of just throwing as many words in as you can just to set some goal. You're respecting your story and giving it the quality instead of quantity it deserves. So that's a DOUBLE WIN. You're doing awesome. I'm also so proud of you for planning on continuing it through May! It is soooo hard to start back up once you've stopped. I...suffer from that a lot. Ahem. I totally admire you for your dedication to this story!

    EEP. YOU'RE TURNING THE TESTING INTO A NOVELLA???? YESSSSSH. I soooooo wanted more of that story. It just NEEDED more. THIS IS SO EXCITING. Except...I guess I shouldn't be encouraging you right now since you need to be working on Killing Snow. But...I'M SO EXCITED.

    I've GOT to read Nadine Brandes books!!!! I have A Time to Die sitting on my shelf and it'll probably be one of the next books I read. I've literally only ever heard good things about these books. I MUST READ THEM SOOOON.

    You're doing another vlog? YAAAAAY. I LOVE YOUR VLOGS. I can't wait! :D :D :D

    I do hope your May is even MORE amazing than your April was! <3

    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH, GIRL! I'm excited for July's Camp because school won't be an obstacle, and I'll (hopefully) be able to get more than 30k. But for April, I was SUPER happy just to hit that xD. But yeah, I tried to hold myself back from throwing random words in there. I think it worked ;).

      YES DON'T TEMPT ME TO WRITE MORE OF THE TESTING YET xD. But its been good incentive to make me write more of KS - even if I AM torn between the two sometimes xD. (there may be Winds, stars, and dragons involved in the novella of The Testing. Who can tell *shrugs*)

      YES, oh my goodness - just yes . Do it *shoos you away*.

      Same to you, my friend! <3

  13. Congratulations, Savannah! You accomplished so much this past month, between NaNo and reading. That's amazing =) I'm about 35,000 words into my WIP, and I'm hoping to finish in May too! Here's to us fulfilling that goal!

    1. Thank you, Caitlin! I was super happy to hit both book and word goals this month. And it's so epic that you're 35k words into your WIP! Here's to completing May-goals ;).

  14. CAMP NANO WAS AWESOME. I did happen to survive... Somehow. xD It's amazing that you wrote 30k in one month! Can't wait to read Killing Snow again! And since there are more words, there will be more Cerulean. And I am dying to see that. =D #unashamedfangirl

    SAVANNAH EVER SINCE YOU MENTIONED HEARTLESS I DECIDED TO READ THE LUNAR CHRONICLES AND OH MY GOODNESS YOU CHANGED MY LIFE!!!! I've only read about one chapter from Cinder after ordering it at my library, AND I LOVE IT. Heartless will come later... But it will definitely come! Also, I read Entwined by Heather Dixon and am working on Illusionarium. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GREAT BOOKS YOU TELL ME OF!!!!

    1. Wasn't it just? I'm SO HAPPY that we both hit our wordgoals! (and YES there's more Cerulean, knives and guns and all. Your comment made me grin so big xD)

      YOU READ LUNAR CHRONICLES, GOOD FOR YOU! Cinder (well, the whole series, really) only gets more epic as you go on and I LOVE IT. And Entwined + Illusionarium are two of my favorite books, I adore them to death. YOU'RE SO WELCOME, MY FRIEND! So glad you read them xD.

  15. Hi Savannah- just wanted to make sure you know I've tagged you in the Blue Sky Tag! (link below) Have a great day :)


    1. Ooh, a tag? Thank you, Hailey! I'll make sure to check it out ;).

  16. Thanks so much for linking to my blog post, friend! #warmfuzzies I'm so glad you enjoyed it that much.
    BTW, the link that was supposed to be to Emily's poem is actually another link to Jonathan's post, if you want to fix that. =)
    Great post, girl! You should be proud of any writing/editing you got done this month, crazy authoress, don't worry. You've got this.

    1. You're welcome! <3 <3
      *winces* ooh, yep - I probably should fix that, huh? Thanks for pointing it out!

      Thanks, Hanna! I'm doing my best and having TONS of fun :D.


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