Monday, May 30, 2016

Happenings of the Month: May 2016

Happenings of the Month May 2016

Entertainment of the Month:

  • Movies/TV

I’ve wanted to see The Hundred-Foot Journey since it came out a couple years ago, but I didn’t get around to it until a couple of weeks ago, when I checked it out from the library. Now I wish I’d seen it sooner! The Hundred-Foot Journey tells the story of the Kadam family and their talented son Hassan, who move from India after a tragedy and end up in France. Here they open up a culturally-Indian restaurant right across the street from the distinctly and classically French restaurant of Madame Mallory. What follows is in fascinating and hilarious story of overcoming prejudice and finding your true home, accompanied by absolutely gorgeous scenery and food cinematography. The amazing cast includes Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon. I very highly recommend this one.

  • Books

I read a total of twelve books in May, which makes me very happy. My favorite of them all, though, was Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.

Elantris used to be beautiful. Capital of Arelon, the city shone with its own brilliant light. And its inhabitants, with strange magical powers and beautiful, otherworldly appearances, were worshipped as gods. But ten years ago, something went horribly wrong, and now the process that made ordinary people into stars turns them instead into diseased shadows of their former selves. Elantris is considered a curse and avoided as such. But Selene, princess of Teod and newly widowed princess of Arelon, wants to know why. Her questions come in the midst of a fierce battle for the very soul of Arelon. The Empire of Fjordell is determined to win the world for Shu-Dereth, and Selene is just as determined that they won’t succeed. While some search for the secrets of Elantris, they will find themselves fighting for the very soul of a nation.

This book is incredible, with deep, intriguing characters, a compelling plot, and a very interesting system of magic. It’s a bit dark for younger readers, but I highly recommend it.

  • Music

"Nearer, My God to Thee" - BYU Vocal Point ft. BYU Men's Chorus – This song is so gorgeous, and I keep coming back to it. Over and over… Seriously, it’s amazing.

"Once in a Lifetime" - Landon Austin – I recently discovered Landon Austin because of an Anthem Lights video, and I like him. This is an original, really sweet, love song.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Soundtrack - Various Artists – This has also been on repeat lately. I watched The Man From U.N.C.L.E. film recently (twice in two days) and absolutely fell in love with both it and its soundtrack. There are some really fun tracks on this album, though I would personally suggest watching the movie before listening to the music. It makes the listening experience so much more amazing.

My Life this Month:

At first, I was tempted to say that nothing’s changed since my last Happenings of the Month post. I’m kind of in a summer lull between big things. But then I realized that plenty of things have happened.

I’ve been working on Raiders’ Rise again! I’m so incredibly excited about it! As I’ve said before, I really haven’t written much at all in the past few months, and editing on my novel has fallen along the wayside, too. For some reason, I’ve got my enthusiasm back now. I’ve been worldbuilding like crazy for the past couple weeks, making something cohesive and unique out of something that was, at best, patchwork in the first draft. I’ve been doing all kinds of crazy and exhausting things for this world. But more on that in my next post. Also, I finally bought Scrivener, so that’s a project all on it’s own…

I’ve also been doing some drawing lessons. I recently discovered this website via the blog of one Liam Wood. It starts drawing lessons from the very beginning, addressing someone who knows nothing about the skill (i.e. ME). By natural talent’s measure, I have no business drawing. But this teacher really stresses that drawing is a learned skill that can be enhanced by natural talent. I haven’t gotten too far, but I’m currently having fun with stick figures.

I also just binge watched the Youtube series Emma Approved in two days. I hadn’t watched it in a really long time, and it made me super happy. Binge watching is not exactly a habit that I advise indulging in often, but this was one of those times where it worked. Relationships of all kinds have been one of those things I’ve been mulling over this past month, and sometimes it’s nice to just escape into some fictional ones.

I’ve gotten back into the habit of doing morning devotions, too. Reading my Bible is not something I’ve done a lot of recently, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Getting back into the Word was like a soul-cleansing. I’ve still got a lot of stuff going through my head, but I feel more anchored. And that is incredibly reassuring.

Other Web Happenings:

5 Trends Christian Millennials MUST Stop Doing | John Wesley Reid

Single You Will Be the Married You | Desiring God

Articles by YOU and for YOU | Go Teen Writers – The Go Teen Writers site is looking for article submissions from young authors!

A Tool For Your Toolbox: Personification | The Writer's Alley

So, what was May like for all of you? Getting out of school, starting new jobs, discovering new hobbies? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Whoah, already it's been a couple years since the hundred foot journey came out? o.O It feels like it was only last year. Ack!

    Ooh, and I just got Elantris from the library. I'm very excited! I've heard good things about it from a friend... and I'm glad to know that you recommend it too. I'm always a little frightened off by larger books, but I'll get it done.

    1. I know, right? The last couple years have passed weirdly fast!

      Yay! I'm so happy you're going to read it. It's so wonderful! Aha! That's what you read more than me; I read thicker books! ;)

  2. Brandon Sanderson is one author I've been meaning to read for a very long time. Would Elantris be a good introduction to his writing?

    Daily devotions are great reminders that whatever life may bring, God knows exactly how to finish his story. It's something I've been discovering.

    It's also good to hear you've taken the time to get creative! That's something I need to start doing again.

  3. Yeah, I had been meaning to read his stuff for a long time, too. :D I'm so glad I finally did. Well, my introduction to his writing was actually through his series Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. Which is actually a middle-grade series, but it's amazing. However, it's definitely different from what I've read of his adult fiction. I haven't read enough to know for sure if Elantris is the perfect introduction. I believe he's most famous for his Mistborn trilogy, which I haven't gotten to yet. The one thing about Elantris is that, while it's unique and definitely fantasy, it doesn't feel too out there, at least to me. So, I think it could be a good starting place. :)

    So very true! They're a wonderful reminder to me that I can't see the whole story and that God's got it under control.

    Yeah, I've really enjoyed it. There's something deadening about losing your creativity. Cultivating it again is like a breath of fresh air.


Hey, there! I love comments, and I'm always quick to respond. Got something to say?