*gasp* What could this be? A nutshell?
So some of you might have noticed that I missed August’s Nutshell post.
NO? YOU DIDN’T NOTICE? WHAT KIND OF HARDCORE ALLISON FAN ARE YOU?
Ahem, anyway. There’s a good reason why I missed a nutshell.
My health has been pretty crummy for the last few months and not only has it made me fall behind in everything, not much happened in August.
When I considered pushing myself to post an August nutshell anyway, there was so little to share that I felt too demoralized to go through with it.
Sooo, I decided to wait and combine August’s nutshell with September’s nutshell. It was something I could tackle without killing myself and it made meatier post.
But, as it turns out, September ended up being a pretty quiet month that involved lots of rest too – so, this might not be the most exciting nutshell, but hey, YOU GOTTA TAKE WHAT YOU CAN GET. 😂
– WATCHED –
Magnum P.I (TV show)
That new monstrosity masquerading as Magnum P.I is a travesty.
There is only ONE Magnum P.I – the original.
It’s fun, breezy hilarity juxtaposed alongside grit, drama, and tension. Fun fact: It was also immensely popular with Vietnam War vets who appreciated finally getting honestly portrayed as normal people free of drugs or trauma.
Well, as normal as these four crazies are ever going to be. Magnum, Rick, T.C, and Higgins (Three Vietnam War vets and a WW2 vet, respectively) are all pretty eccentric. This show seamlessly blends humor (everything from wit to slapstick) as our four bozos stumble through life to intense action sequences as our four heroes snap back into military mode.
Higgins and Magnum are one of my favorite go-to “friends at each other’s throats” pairings and their ceaseless warfare never fails to entertain.
Yes, I’ve done a mini review of this before, but it deserves another commendation.
I have a slight obsession with the Ice Age, plus a love for unique film-making, plus a great interest in foreign films. This movie seamlessly blended together all three of those elements. It was wonderful.
Star Wars Lego: The Freemaker Adventures
Raise your hand if you grew up playing Legos! *hand shoots up*
Legos hold a lot of happy memories for me. I played with Legos for countless hours with my siblings. Acting our narratives with our Legos were some of our earliest story-telling attempts. And Allison, the girl who struggles putting fresh batteries into devices, could actually figure out the Lego instructions and put a set together. That was a big deal.
So yeah, obviously, Legos are a big deal for us and come on, who DOESN’T like a good Star Wars spoof?
This is kind of the Star Wars I’ve always wanted to see, to be honest. It still has snappy dialogue, great characters, and a strong plot but has a heavy dose of zany.
It’s also about siblings who run their own business (YAY). And, for once, the siblings actually LOVE AND LIKE one another (what is this madness?). Yes, once in a while they get mad at one another, but it’s always quickly resolved an they constantly build one another up and support each other.
Yes, I know what some of you might be thinking. Wait, is this just for little kids? NO, it’s not. Aside from a few Lego jokes such as the characters being able to remove their hairpieces to shake the dust out of their coiffures, you could literally pick up this series and drop it into a live-action movie without having to change anything else – it’s ageless and high quality.
It’s adventurous, exciting, and hilarious and yet, surprisingly, has a great deal of drama and poignancy as our characters go through quite a bit of loss and stress but, ultimately, emerge victorious.
My favorites, though, would have to the Emperor (a squealing and hilarious megalomaniac) and Griballa the Hutt, a slug-like creature with a New York Jewish accent who is determined to start up his own “quasi-legitimate business ventures.”
My siblings and I had a wonderful time binge watching this series. I only wish there had been MORE.
The Hobbit Trilogy
*aggressively and obsessively watches this trilogy on repeat*
I don’t care WHAT ANYBODY SAYS. THIS SERIES IS BETTER THAN THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY AND I REALLY, REALLY LIKE IT AND NEVER GET TIRED OF WATCHING IT.
If you don’t like this trilogy, you don’t know what’s good for you, so there! 😂
– READ –
In the months of August and September, I read 32 books!
Again, as always, a few of them were skim-reads or DNF’s (and, due to not feeling well, I had a LOT of time to listen to audio books).
– WRITING –
I wrote somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 words from August 1st to September 31st.
What was I writing on? Well, I stumbled across an anthology asking for submissions and went kind of crazy and picked up the gauntlet in the eleventh hour. I wrote a 9,000 word short story in a little under a week, took two days to edit it, and then submitted it on the last day of the submission window.
I worked on two pieces of flash fiction (one was a rewrite, one was from scratch) – to be submitted to various places at some point in the future.
BUT – aside from those little side ventures, I’ve mostly been working and writing on my Little Red Riding Hood retelling. I’M GOING TO FINISH THIS THING IF IT KILLS ME.
I had originally thought that Red would be a novella.
It’s already a whopping 40,000 words and I only MIGHT be half-way through the draft.
In other writing news, I connected with one of my favorite authors (Ashley Stangl from the Rooglewood Press anthology Five Magic Spindles) and we have been each other’s accountability partners for the last few months. Once a week or so, we check in with one another to ask how the writing is going and update each other on our progress. Ashley is so nice (as well as being one of my favorite authors), and it’s such an honor and a thrill to be able to cheer her on in her amazing writing efforts!
Aside from drafting, I decided to take up another writing baton.
After taking some time off, I jumped back into the ol’ death or glory game of submitting my fiction to magazines.
I submitted . . . and submitted and submitted.
I can’t remember exact figures off the top of my head, but I have about five or six stories and pieces of flash fiction that are ready to submit – and I started submitting them like gangbusters. Sometimes, I would be soliciting up to seven magazines at a time (a new record).
And, I got rejected.
Which just fueled my crazed head-long charge. The very day I got rejections, I would reformat my submission and send it to another magazine (usually within the same hour of the rejection) – just to shake my fist at the void.
Still, one does begin to wonder, just a bit, about their writing skills when they keep getting rejected. Though, a few of the editors have been nice enough to say that they liked my writing, my story just didn’t suit their needs.
Still studying those comments with a magnifying glass….
Ah well. All we can do is keep learning, keep trying, and explore every possible avenue. And, most importantly, get over the rejection quickly. Fortunately, my day job in sales and cold-calling helps me work those self-esteem muscles on an hourly basis.
I’ve still have two stories outstanding and I’m anxiously waiting for a responsem but I’m not getting my hopes up.
You know that 9,000 word short story I mentioned a few paragraphs ago? The one I submitted to an anthology?
IT WAS ACCEPTED AND IT’S GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!!
Now for the behind-the-scenes tour.
The last time I was published in a magazine was in May of last year and, since then, I’ve been trying off and on to get published again with no success.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I am about ready to throw in the towel on getting “traditionally” published something gets accepted. A sign? An encouragement? Maybe both? All I’m really sure of is that I’m thankful!
This acceptance came on the heels of approximately 20 rejections that I received through August and September, so it’s yet another reminder to us all to persevere!
There’s only one bad thing about all this. Every time I get accepted into a publication, it upsets all my writing plans. I was just about to settle down on Little Red Riding Hood and set flash fiction and short stories aside for a little while when this story was accepted, and now “flushed with victory” I am abandoning all the long projects I’m supposed to be working on to write more short stories and flash . . . again.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, BUT WHATEVER.
– LIFE –
My morning glories bloomed, guys!
After talking to them, fertilizing them, watering them, helping them climb, cheering them on, I was starting to get a little worried. But my efforts paid off and I got some glorious blooms – I’m so proud of my babies!
Got to go swimming twice. *cue elation and euphoria* This will doubtless be the last swims of the summer, and it was glorious.
I baked a smidge. The item of particular note was HOMEMADE TWIX COOKIES. Layers of sugar cookie, pretzel, melted caramel, and dark chocolate. My goodness, guys, they were INCREDIBLE.
Played more games with my brother. It’s called Star Wars – Imperial Assault (the Hoth campaign). It’s cool, look it up. Eh, and bring a dictionary and an interpreter when you do.
Actually, it’s the same game that we’ve been playing for months now (yes, we’re hardcore). We’re slowly working our way through a battle campaign by tackling one mission at a time (a mission takes several days to complete). *smirks a bit* I don’t mind saying that THE EMPIRE (moi) IS IN THE LEAD. MAHAHAHA.
Man, I love being the Empire. 😇
Annnnd . . . that’s all.
Literally, nothing else worth noting has happened during these past two months.
If you rattle these shells, you can hear virtually the nuts rattling around inside them. I told you it’s been quiet.
Your turn, my friend. Did you watch any good movies in August and September? Read any good books? Do anything special for Labor Day? Tell me everything!