April In A Nutshell


What happened to April???  Well, I survived it – that much I know.  But as I look back on this month, I wonder why it felt so busy, when it seems I watched an awful lot of TV.  “coughs”  Ah, well – believe it or not – I was busy.

And here’s why!

– Reading –


I read 35 books in the month of April!  *fist pump*  I also reached a total of 80 books read so far for my 150 book reading challenge for 2018!



Big improvement over March – when I only read 8 books.  I’M THE CHAMP!  *smirks*


One of my favorites of the month.


Books Read:

Redcoat in Boston / Stephen’s Feast / The Crippled Lamp / Nutcracked / Nancy Drew Shock Waves / No Flying In The House / Heather at the Barre / Heather, Belle of the Ball / Downhill Megan / Alison Walks the Wire / Rose Faces the Music / Cheyenne Rose / Three Cheers for Keisha / Alison Goes for Gold / Mr. Midshipman Hornblower / The Best of Connie Willis / The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street / Mythical Doorways / Blood Road / Marlon Bundo’s Day In the Life of a Vice President / The Claim / Under Eastern Stars / Star Wars: The New Rebellion / Favorite Fairy Tales Told In Denmark / The Mystery of the Haunted Pool / Wilderness Days / Ella Enchanted / Proverbs / Exodus / The Secret of the Missing Footprint / Daughter of Silk / Susie Sneakers / Mystery of the Angry Idol / The Mystery of the Gulls / Nancy Drew Two Points to Murder.


In other bookish news – I whittled my TBR pile down from 825 to 764.  I scrapped a whopping 61 books off my list, people!


– Watched –


Foreign Exchange:

Excellent cast and phenomenal scripting.  The writers had the comedy of errors and hilarious miscommunication down pat.  You can find out more about the TV show here and watch the first episode here.


Star Trek

– Assorted episodes from The Original Series, Next Generation, Voyager, Enterprise and Deep Space Nine.



This show is gold.  First of all, it’s a pair of brothers.  Secondly, they are the most diabolically clever gamblers you’ll ever meet.  They are an exciting pair to watch, for they don’t just gamble with cards, they gamble on everything – and leap headlong into jaw-dropping deals and scenarios that we are sure they will never emerge from alive. But they not only come out on top – they do it with class.


The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe:

I’d forgotten what a good movie this was.  While saying they are anything like the real series is a joke (please, don’t compare them) it was still an excellent fantasy film with a cast that is sure to grab your heart.


Prince Caspian:

 Yes, I had to use both pictures because they are so adorable.

While not as good a movie technically as The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (pacing, structure and execution were definitely off at points with some weaker story choices) this was still an entertaining film.  And of course, it’s a treat to see the Four back together and developing their performances.  I really liked the addition of Ben Barnes and turning it into a fivesome, and it’s a pity we didn’t see the Five together more.

The Forest Rangers:

 If you haven’t see this wonderful Canadian children’s show made in the 1960s, you have really missed something fun and special.  Cute kids and fun adventures as well as one really, really cool mentor (Joe Two Rivers, not featured in the picture above) make for some great episodes.



There’s a reason this movie was MY movie when I was younger – I instinctively knew a good one when I saw one.  A brilliant and beautiful film.



I got to show it to my older siblings on DVD.  Charming and sweet, though nothing fabulous.


The Miracle Season:

Poignant and inspiring to think that a 17 year old girl could affect so many people for good in her short life – and even affect them for good in her death.  Nevertheless, the execution was below average; choppy, sometimes dull and often focusing on the wrong moment.  Okay, but not outstanding.

I saw this in theaters, and I must say the company (my sisters) and the popcorn and drinks were outstanding.  🙂

That entire box of candy I ate . . . not so much . . .  #norestraint  #doneinbyreeses



Raiders of the Lost Ark:

*fangirling begins* There’s a reason this series is a classic.  This movie has a ton of nostalgia for me and every time I watch it, I never grow tired of it.  It is sheer excellence.  This is film mastery – period.  Script, acting, editing, cinematography, lighting, sound and costume.  It’s masterful.


Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

 Yet another rip-snorting movie of pure adventure perfection.  This Indy movie has a more heart and humor than the first movie and an absolutely wonderful father/son arc.  The mastery statement applies just as much to this sequel, too.


Shirley Holmes

A fun 1990s Canadian children’s show featuring the great grand niece of Sherlock Holmes.  Though she’s supposed to be related to Sherlock Holmes, Shirley reminds me more of a Macgyver, as she is far more hands on and has a pack full of clever devices and tools that she uses with great dexterity.  Entertaining mysteries with some good acting, especially from Shirley’s Watson-esque sidekick, Bo.


The Darkest Hour

A little choppy at points, but still an excellent film.  Every time I watch it, I am inspired and the fighting spirit rises to the forefront as we see this incredible, bombastic man fight back not only against an invading country, but his own foolish and cowardly people.  He exhibits great courage as he fights for the people that hate and misunderstand him instead of supporting him.


Horatio Hornblower 

Episodes 1-6:  Reading the book got me in the mood to watch this series yet again.  A swashbuckling, adventurous historical drama and overall – excellent. As far as what makes it FABULOUS, can I just say. . . .

Archie & Mr. Bush.  



Typical expressions ^^^


And yup – got it right in the bread basket again as episode six ended with the WORST CHARACTER DEATH EVER AND ONE I’LL NEVER GET OVER.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.



– Camp Nano / Writing –


Camp Nano is officially OVER, and I just squeaked in as a winner.  I wrote 20,000 words, total.



I initially decided on a goal of 30,000 words but I had to drop it to 20,000.



Trying to have The Goose Girl prepped for a final beta reader, stay on top of beta reading comments, and polish up a short story for submission by April 30th were making that last 10,000 words too stressful so . . . I had to cut back.

My original plans for Camp Nano (aside from writing 30,000 instead of 20,000) had been to write three or four 6,000 word short stories, polish them up and submit them to magazines / anthologies.  I’m so ambitious.



Well, I wrote one 9,300 word short story called The Queen’s Cure, then I had to chop that baby down to 8,000 words and polish it to within an inch of its life in time to reach the submission date of April 30th.  So yeah – one short story for April.



But one is better than none!  I might have been able to write two, but I decided to focus The Queen’s Cure.

I submitted a piece of flash fiction called Looking For A Master In All The Wrong Places to a magazine.  I had written that one a month or two ago and I just had to proof it.

I submitted a piece of flash fiction that I wrote late last year called Silver Lining to a new magazineThat one has been rejected so many times by different magazines that it’s beginning to look slightly battered.  *affects British accent*  But I simply popped on some scotch tape and submitted again.

We’ll see how the story fares with this new magazine.  Unfortunately, I believe it will be mid-June before I hear back from them.

I estimate it will be mid-May by the earliest when I hear back about my other two stories as well. *chews nails*

I tell you, it’s the waiting that’s the worst.


*total mental breakdown ensues*


Last, but not least, I also finished rewriting the first chapter of my serial story, Life at Hedgerose and posted it on my blog.

And now I have to keep posting new chapters!!!  #pressure


And if you haven’t heard about this fun project that is making me so nervous, head over to this link and join the party!

 – Editing / Beta Reading –


Two of my beta readers finished their first pass of The Goose Girl . . . and they liked it!



I also got a final alpha reader to start going over The Goose Girl rewrites afresh and that is progressing nicely.

Now, I can’t promise anything – but my tentative goal is to have it polished by the end of May, professionally proofed in June . . . and then . . . publication in either July or August!




I’m praying for some grace and success in moving forward with this sequel, because I can’t wait to share it with all of you!  Prays would be appreciated!

I also finished a few frantic last minute tweaks to The Reluctant Godfather at the beginning of April and submitted it to a professional proofreader.  They’ll be finished by May 7th and I hope to have the new edition of The Reluctant Godfather out by the end of May.

The new cover design is going well and . . . *squeals* . . . I think you’re going to love it!


– Library Sale –

Usually I leave these sales with thirty books or more, but this time I only left with six items!  *applauds my own restraint*  I have been focusing on cleaning out bookshelves cluttered with impulse buys from many other library sales and have already given away approximately 100 books – so I had that at the front of my mind as I was book hunting.

It also helped that we went the second day of the sale and it had already been considerably picked over.  Nevertheless, I found a few treasures!


– Cleaning / Purges –

More and more purging and Spring Cleaning.  We yanked all of our old homeschooling homework and toys out of storage and, oh my goodness, you could barely walk through our basement living room – it was a maze of boxes and junk and . . . old homework.



Going through all my old homework was an odd experience.  As I paged through binder after binder, I experienced that old cliche of seeing my life pass before my eyes.  Seeing my second grade handwriting, one of my very first newsletters, my old science tests – it was quite a flashback.

I’m glad I did, because I had been holding onto this idea that I hadn’t enjoyed school very much, but as I looked over all the homework, I remembered one good memory after another.  Yes, I wasn’t the best student in the classic sense (It was quite satisfying to shred those old papers that were liberally decorated by the Big Red Pen) but I realized what an amazing learning environment I had to grow up in.  I thrived.

Yes, I might have forgotten the finer details of the anatomy of an earthworm (I forgot it before I even took the test, judging from the red marks) but as I looked through the homework, I thought of the scripture:  “You desire truth in the innermost parts.”

I was taught and steeped in reason and wisdom, and it has come to fruition and become my constant companion.

I also looked at old tests and found many school papers full of drawings instead of actual test answers . . . but you know what?  It makes me happy now to realize that I’m “in my lane.”  My day job requires hard work and focus and involves people; it’s what I’m best at.  I work part time being creative with art and writing; it’s what I’m best at.

It was a long journey, but I’m where I’m supposed to be (for now) – and it makes me happy.



And just about sums up this post.

Oh yes, I did fatten up this short post by talking about how many movies I watched this month and giving mini reviews.



Seriously, did you find that unutterably boring?  Should this be a permanent thing? I do recommend everything that I watched this month.  They’re all fantastic and you’ve been missing out if you haven’t seem them.  #Yourewelcome.


And now that really DOES wrap things up.


So what about you, my dear followers?  What was your April like?  Did you do Camp Nano?  Tell me all the details!



4 thoughts on “April In A Nutshell

  1. I love wrap ups. You fit so much into a month. I read maybe one book and watched four movies. The Indiana Jones movies are always a great choice.

    1. Thanks, Skye; I’m glad you enjoyed it! Aw, thanks – it doesn’t feel like much . . . ha!

      YAAAY! Another Indiana Jones fan!!! More people need to watch those!

  2. OK first – I loove all this. xD *high five* I love the Narnia movies I’ve seen, Tarzan, and I’ve seen both those Indiana Jones’!
    CONGRATS ON NANO! I feel ya, though, I lowered my goal soo much but still, EVERYTHING counts.
    And I was sitting here squealing because of that GIF of Aaron Tveit “make it happen please” ahHHH. xD *runs off*
    Love the ‘purge’ bit. 😉 We really do learn so much… I dislike when folks get all ‘oh it’s cool to hate your old writing’ like… NOOO guys. Just because our old writing/projects aren’t great doesn’t mean we should cringe and cower like it’s the bane of our existence… that’s our beginning! That’s cool! And I… might’ve just rambled. 😛
    God bless Alli!
    -Ang |


      Thank you! Aww, I know it’s kind of disappointing, but WELL DONE! We both STILL wrote – and that’s the point of Nano! *fist pumps* As you said – everything counts!!

      I actually had to Google Aaron Tveit. *coughs* I often don’t know who these people are in the gifs…

      Yes, exactly! It’s an important part of the journey – one of those first steps and it’s actually encouraging and fascinating to see how the foundation was poured and how far we’ve come and how our stories have been woven together to see how far we’ve come and all that brought us here!

      God bless, Angela! <3

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