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July In A Nutshell


You’re a sneaky one, oh you merciless July – you missed me by a hair – but close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.  I survived.
Though I must admit I’m feeling the affects.
July turned out to be one of the busiest, most disruptive months of the year with big changes at work and our home.  Job training and furniture moving do not a happy camper make.
Speaking of camping.  If I had known that July would be so crazy, I might not have signed up for Camp Nano.

But, nah, I probably would have BECAUSE WHY HOLD BACK WHEN I CAN JUST PILE MORE ON MY PLATE AND RUN AROUND LIKE A CRAZED MONKEY WHICH I SO LOVE TO DO?  When in doubt, double the schedule, that’s my motto.


So let’s crack this crazy nutshell, shall we?



Huge changes at work, big picture and small picture – busier for everyone – and busier for me.  Lots of doors closing and doors opening, new schedules, new training – all make for some um . . . changes.

The 4th of July

Over the Fourth of July weekend, my twin and I ‘took’ my brother to see Cars 3.  (Note from the Author:  I forgot to mention in my June Nutshell that my twin and I went to see Cars 3 in theaters – aside from the fact that I loved it, this movie will always be special because it is the first movie that just my twin and I went to see together.  #twindate.)   It was fun to ‘show it to him’.
By odd circumstance, I spent most of the 4th of July proper with just my big brother (not that he isn’t completely fabulous) and we had a nice day playing games – specifically Star Wars Imperial Assault where my Jawas and Imperial Forces squared off against his Jedi and Droids.

Jawas beat Jedi – (street smarts beat the Force, apparently ‘smirks’).  Though I have to admit, I surprised myself with that win.  I was pretty happy that the Empire Struck Back – as it should.  #EmpireFan #likesplayingthebadguy
Afterwards we had a Star Trek fest in which my brother showed me some episodes and fan films I had never seen and kept pretending like he was going to turn off an episode right at the middle of an exciting part.  ‘folds arms’.

So while not exactly patriotic, we had a nice day.

Furniture Moving

Lots of fun bonding time there.
Nearly every room in our house has been turned topsy-turvy and it seems like every piece of furniture in our house has been moved – and piled hurly-burly and higgledy-piggledy around us.
Literally the only time our house and its contents has been so disrupted is when we were moving.
Fortunately, any injuries we suffered are not permanent. Extreme tiredness is only a phase. . . .


Furniture shopping . . .

Because suddenly my clothes and junk are everywhere instead of being crammed into rarely unearthed hidey-holes.  Somebody is seriously disturbing the nesting grounds . . . .
After hitting a string of furniture and thrift stores in a intensive afternoon of shopping, we finally turned to the mighty Ebay.  Gotta love shopping on the Internet.

No, that beautiful setting for that armoire is not my actual room – that’s a glamor shot, what your room is SUPPOSED to look like. 
Took about 2 hours to build this puppy, since all the pieces came in a huge, flat box (I pity the FedEx man who had to carry it to our front door).  Fortunately my brilliant engineer brother was sweet enough to tackle it with physical and mental muscles, while his Minions (my twin and I) assisted.

A new bookcase – excuse the slight messiness and no laughing at the stuffed pelican, he’s sensitive.  My big sister and I put this one together TWICE because we got it wrong the first time (we are NOT engineers), but we finally succeeded in erecting it.
And this is just MY furniture folks – we had to build bookcases for my sister too.  Definitely got a lot of practice in with my screwdriver this month.

DIY Projects

A pseudo-DIY project.  A Pseudo-DIY project means you did it using your own money.  🙂  Tax returns that I had carefully squirreled away for the right time.
After many moons of saving, I finally got a chair recovered.  This chair used to belong to my grandparents and eventually came to me.  As you can see, it was as ugly as horny-toads, ripped and sadly deflated.  But it was well built and my FEET ACTUALLY HIT THE FLOOR.  Do you have any idea how rare that is for somebody my size?  #neverhappens.  My back hit right, my head hit right, plus it was a recliner; I knew it was worth holding onto.  After about two years of forgetting, finally deciding on fabric and finally finding a reupholstery shop, I finally went for it!



ISN’T IT PURTY????  And it’s so fluffy and soft now, aside from being generally gorgeous and wonderful.

Youtube Activity

Look at that – some activity was spotted on my Youtube channel.

And I don’t mean vlogs, I mean an actual song!  ‘pats self on back’.  It’s been way too long and I am really trying to do two songs a month.  ONE OF THESE DAYS I WILL.  Bare with me.
You can listen to my cover of ‘Sway’ right here.  Go ahead, click.

Camp Nano.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that didn’t I?
I’m just avoiding the inevitable . . . .
When I first decided to do July’s Camp Nano, I had vaguely entertained the wistful thought that I would be able to write the first draft of my Rooglewood Press Snow White story and my next Tales of Ambia story.

The good news is I did get some work in on ‘The Frog Prince‘, plotting and writing.  The bad news is, the Snow White retelling is still sitting, stagnating, at a couple of thousand words.  I have about four ideas for Snow White that I really like and I had thought I had settled on one then I thought of another idea just the other day that I really like – but for all of the ideas I am struggling with my Achilles heel – plotting.  AND I JUST WANT TO HIDE RIGHT NOW.

I spent a lot of time just getting plain STUCK and padding my 40,000 goal with a lot of word prompts – which makes me feel kind of FRUSTRATED – because even though it provides some fun flash fiction for my blog and helps flex those writers muscles it has spawned MORE STORIES IDEAS – half a dozen of those little stinkers are hopping around in my head and I don’t know what to do with them.

To summarize, I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, but it’s done.


Fun Stuff

Okay so that was a mixed bag of stressful and interesting news but lets end on the purely fun news.



Beauty And The Beast Broadway Musical

This has been a dream of mine for thirteen years.  Back in 2004 while traveling through TN, I got my hands on a brochure for the Cumberland County Playhouse with lavish photographs advertising their production of Beauty and the Beast.  I really, desperately wanted to watch it but it never worked out.  Every time I thought of it since then I felt the disappointment, even after all of this time, I regretted not being able to see it.
And now, what a blessing, I finally had the opportunity to SEE IT!
The day before we saw the play, I found this promo on Youtube and I have to tell you, I started crying.  I don’t normally cry when I watch / read stuff – (this is a bit of a big deal).  Beauty and the Beast is more than a story to me.  In a way I cannot describe, Beauty and the Beast has resonated deeply inside of me for as long as I can remember.  Somehow it makes me think of that odd thrill of longing that C.S. Lewis once spoke of:  “That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of a bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World’s End, the opening lines of Kubla Khan, the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves.”
Very few things in this life do this but once in a while something will suddenly push through the force field, startling us with a flash of something, something we can not identify, something incredibly beautiful that touches a core we rarely recognize, let alone often feel.  Beauty and the Beast has always done that for me.

Yes, I know it looks like a barn outside but trust it – it’s not like that inside.  See?

I could spend an entire blog post saying this but allow me to summarize in a single run-on sentence and say THE ENTIRE PLAY WAS %100 PERCENT INCREDIBLE, I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED – THE SINGING, THE ACTING, THE COSTUMES, THE SETS – it was PERFECT AND AMAZING AND YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO GO SEE IT SO GO SEE IT!!!!!!!

New Subscribers

Reached 45 subscribers on my blog and 21 subscribers on my Youtube Channel.  Thank you so much guys!  <3

Bookish News

I read 40 books in the month of July.  ‘nods’  Uh-huh, I know.  😀

Okay, some of them were picture books and some of them were books of the Bible and some of them were DNFS but let’s not quibble over trifles.


Book Hauls.

I got lots of books, kids – OH YES!  Armed with my monthly book fund and my nose for rock bottom deals – I nabbed some fabulous books for great prices – double win.  Books make me so happy!

Observe the loveliness.

Picked up the entire Anne of Green Gables series at my libraries local bookstore – for 3 BUCKS – and they are brand new.  Some of them even have a slip cover.

Last of all, my sister was cleaning out her bookcase and I rescued these from her Goodwill pile.  ‘snatches books like a Jawa and scuttles away with scavenged books’

As I’ve said before – I’m not a photographer – my apologizes for the crummy pictures.
So I went kind of crazy.  ‘coughs’  But they were great deals!  They added up rather mysteriously, but they were great deals, I always buy used books if I can.  And they needed me, they really did.

“Precision and Order”

And under bookish news (though it could have technically come under the furniture moving heading, since I own so many and could make a sofa or bed out of my books)…..’takes a breath’….ANYWAY, I completely reorganized my bookshelves, ripped everything out and organized my books by category.  Thrillers (adventure thrillers, spy thrillers), Mysteries, Contemporary, Children’s, Fantasy, Science Fiction (with a sub section of Dystopian, Steampunk and Dieselpunk), Classics, Fairy Tales, and Non Fiction.  And it only took me two evenings to do it.  All I need are some kind of labels on the shelves and I’m good to go.  ‘beams lovingly at bookcase’.  I even organized my historical fiction (in it’s own bookcase) by date – starting from BC and ending with a book that takes place during the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I do like organizing book shelves!
But I didn’t do this solely because I love compulsively arranging books – but out of necessity.  I was starting to have difficulty in finding specific books because everything was arranged in a hodge-podge fashion based on what looked nice together.  My life is now easier and it is now easier for my family to find books they are looking for, since I want my bookshelves to be available for their browsing convenience as well.


And that’s just about it, guys.  I’m done.


So what did you think of the nutshell?  How was your month?  What did you do for the Fourth of July?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!


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13 thoughts on “July In A Nutshell

  1. JULY WAS INSANE. And of all the times for nano to be… *scowls* I love your chair… and I want all your books… AND I just got the Twin Arrows this month, which I was super excited about!! Beauty and the Beast is one of my very favorites, too, <333

    1. Aww, sorry, I can relate! I know! That’s how it always works out, it seems.

      Thank you! Haha, well I hope you can acquire them as quickly as possible because…’ hugs book possessively’ Ooo, Twin Arrows! It is super cute, I had so much fun beta reading for that one!!!

      Heeeeey! “high fives and hugs a fellow B&TB fan’

      1. I met my word count goal today!! *squeals* The story still isn’t done, though. And I have a feeling I’m going to add one or two other POVs, and it’s going to turn into a monster, and I’ll have to edit the word count down… 😀 Fun, right?

        1. YAY!!!! Good for you, Zane!! ‘claps excitedly’

          Uh-oh – ‘nervous titter’ – that sounds familiar! LOL! Here, have some chocolate! ‘hands over favorite kind and administers a hug’ YOU CAN DO IT, ZANE!

  2. I had a pretty good month full of beta reading and my new job. It’s nice to hear details of what you’ve been up to!

    Tell your brother he never fails to crack me up. 😀

  3. OK first; that Hawaii 5-0 GIF with the desert island. My precioussss. 😉
    SECOND: AHHH!!! *literally just screamed* YOU HAVE SO MANY WONDERFUL NEW BOOKS!!!! Icefall was soo good. And C.S. Lewis, and The Hobbit, and The Twin Arrows, and Agent C! NICE GOING ALLI!!!
    I am currently in NC on vacation, visiting my grandparents! 😛 So July has been crazy- sold a house, won NaNo, our mare had her baby foal, and we’re in NC. 😉
    God bless you, Alli!

    1. LOL!! I loved that GIF and couldn’t resist using it. 😀 Haha! “My preciooousss” because you like the series or because it applied to Camp Nano so well? 🙂

      I KNOW! ‘screams with you’ – I found all these ‘buy two, get one three sales on ebay for used books and ‘cough, cough’….thanks! XD

      I hope you have a wonderful vacation, Angela and enjoy your time with your grandparents! WOW – July sounds crazy! Congratulations on being able to sell the house, the new foal – AND FOR WINNING NANO, CHAMP! ‘salutes’

      God bless you, Angela! <3

  4. Wow! It sounds like you a had a wonderful July!

    You had the chair done in a really cute pattern! That’s nice that the chair fits just right.

    The Beauty and the Beast play sounds so magical! Wow! What a lovely experience! I guess you can’t judge a book or a theater by its cover. I would never have guessed by the outside what was in the inside.

    Look at all those books you received in this month alone!!! For me, I’ve packed a majority of my books last month, and I was surprised by how many I had. I still have some more to pack, but I got the my fiction (with the exception of children’s books) packed. I have half of my nonfiction packed, and I still have or sort through some books and ask myself questions like “do I really need this” or “will I really read this?” *sighs* That’s what unfortunately happens when a family has to downsize significantly.

    1. It was wild but good! Hope was your July, Ekaterina?

      Yes, thanks! I love it…soooo comfy.

      It was AMAZING! It almost ‘hurt’ it was so wonderful! LOL, I know… it looks like a barn on the outside!

      “whimpers”. Oh dear!! That sounds excruciating!! I hope you have success in re-homing them! And that you and your family have a blessed and peaceful move!

      1. My July was pretty good. Saw a close friend that I hadn’t seen in several years, so it was really wonderful to see her again!

        It has been slightly excruciating, but I have kept 90%, or about that much, of my books, which is nice. 🙂

        1. Ekaterina – that’s awesome, I’m so glad you got see her!!

          OH, THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT!!! ‘wipes brows’ I can imagine how tough that was! 🙁 – so glad you got to keep most of them!!

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