June: In Review

Well, June was mostly a waste. Okay, not entirely, I’m just in a negative state of mind these days. I blame the heat for it.

I read quite a lot in June. I had hoped to complete another book before the month’s end, but I’ve still got about 100 pages in that book so I guess it will count towards July. For some reason, I’ve been craving the feel of paperbacks lately, which is completely strange since I’m pretty much a strictly hardback kind of girl. Something about the books being paperback lately is tricking my brain into thinking they’re shorter (when in fact, they’re not at all – even longer in some cases) and since I’ve been trying to read as much as possible, I’m constantly reaching for the “shorter” reads first. Anyway, here’s what I read in June:

June Reads

Ascendant (Killer Unicorns, Book 2) by Diana Peterfreund
Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 2) by Charlaine Harris
Chelsea Chelsea, Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler [not pictured]
Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 3) by Charlaine Harris
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 4) by Charlaine Harris
Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 5) by Charlaine Harris

*Clicking the title will take you to my review on GoodReads*

I know I’ve stopped talking about photography in this monthly post, but I had a lot of good photo opportunities in June that I was actually pleased with like Huff Baby #2 Sex Reveal and Gideon’s 2nd Birthday Shoot. A friend of my sister’s has asked me to shoot her family this weekend and even though I said I was done with offering out my services, I said yes. I’m a bit nervous, but I’m hoping since they’re going to be outside, daylight shots, they’ll at least be better than the last family I shot in the dark. *fingers crossed*

And so now, I suppose I should mention writing. It’s obvious I was avoiding it, isn’t it? Well that’s because it’s the first month of the year that I have to report writing NOTHING. Not even a single word. If I thought I felt like a failure last month with my 3K report, imagine how worthless I’m feeling this month. Sigh.

I did print and redline the novel at its current 35K state, but I didn’t even make the revisions to the text document yet. I was busier than normal in June, but I’m really not sure why I couldn’t even write one word. I’m mostly blaming it on the heat because my mental state has been slowly crumbling as a result of the weather. I really need to move somewhere colder, bad.

Despite feeling pretty low about writing nothing in June, I’m trying to be hopeful for July. Jeannine Garsee () set up a private Grapemo session on FB and I’ve joined with the goal to write at least 5K. Back in February when she hosted the regular Grapemo here on LJ, I tripled that goal. I’m not confident I can do that again, but if I can pump out at least 5K in this hellish heat, then I’ll be pretty happy with myself. Plus, I need to get past this “middle of the book” phase. Apparently this happens with real authors, too (Victoria Schwab was just talking about this recently), and so hopefully once I get away from 35K and reach for 40, writing the second half of the book will come at a better pace like the first half did. It’s not like I don’t already know what happens; I just need to get it on paper.

So anyway, that was my June. It had its highs and lows. How was your June? Any hopes for July?

P.S. If you missed June's Music Review, click HERE. It's definitely worth it this month. 🙂


June: In Review

Gosh, June, where on earth did you go? Heck, the first half of 2012, please freaking come back! It is ridiculous how fast time is passing this year. I know I say this every month, but I swear time is listening and challenging me even more with every month that passes. Curse you, Time! *shakes fist angrily*
But enough of my disappointment with time… I’m sure I’m not alone with this lost time thing, so let’s just get on to the review of what was accomplished in the short period of time known as June. 
Writing – It’s not spectacular, but at least there’s a number this month. Total: 822. I should feel ashamed, I know, but I’m just happy to have written anything. It’s summer after all and even though I was struck with the lovely shiny-new Summer Novel idea last month, I wasn’t sure I’d actually achieve anything. But the first half of that number can be applied to Summer Novel (currently being referred to Beyond the Trees), and the second half can be applied to a short story I’m working on. Something, that sadly, might make you cry, but in a good way (hopefully). 
Reading – I didn’t read nearly as many books as I’d hoped to read in June. I started more than I actually finished honestly, but I did finish four, which isn’t a terribly embarrassing number to report. Included in those four, are: The Carrie Diaries, Book 1 by Candace Bushnell, Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, Book 1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan, and Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris. *Clicking those titles will take you to my thoughts on each book*

Photography – With June being Gideon’s birthday month, and his 1st birthday no less, there were a lot of opportunities for great pictures. I’ve bundled the pictures via instagram, but clicking on them will take you to their full albums if you’re interested in seeing more. Also, crazy things happened this month in regards to my photography. Things that both excite me and scare the crap out of me. Like, PEOPLE WANT ME TO PHOTOGRAPH THEM! People I hardly even know. They’ve been asking my family and friends and even approaching me about photographing their families or children. I am feeling super honored and scared like you can’t believe. I truly hope I don’t let them down. The other crazy thing is detailed under the first picture so without further ado, June’s notable moments in pictures:
Gideon’s 1st Birthday Photo Shoot
The cupcake used for the shoot was from Cupcake Wars Winner and local bakery, “Flavor Cupcakery.” When I was buying it, I mentioned what I’d be using it for and they asked me to bring in a copy of the picture. When I posted it on their FB page the following day they were so in-love with it that they used the photo to advertise their cupcake flavors for that day! So many total strangers ‘liked’ the photo on FB. It was a really cool feeling for me.
The Huff Family
My sister, Rachel, and brother-in-law, Steve, and their most recent tattoos, and then the both of them, with Gideon, at his 1st birthday party. The last time I shot pictures of them like this was their wedding party. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already.
Gideon’s 1st Birthday Party
It was Pirate Themed, as to be expected based on the birthday invitations I shot last month. He received two of those pirate ship rides and my sister made all the adorable cupcakes and birthday cakes. Overall, it was a successful event! 
Music – As always, music never lets me down. And June was no exception. I wish I could limit this list to a more reasonable number because I know by posting as many as I’m about to post, I’m probably losing readers, but seriously, I just can’t. There were THAT many great bands in June that you MUST know about. If you pass up this list, well, you’ve totally lost out. Just saying.
Artifex Pereo – Liable for Tragedy
It’s always a wonderful thing when one of your favorite bands randomly releases a new track featuring their new singer, for no reason at all, and you love it just the same as all their other tracks with their old singer. It’s even more awesome when they offer you a link to said song for free, even when you’re willing to pay for it, just because you want to listen to it on repeat. Yeah. One of my favorite bands. You get why, right? 😉

Anthony Green – “Get Yours While You Can”

I had wanted his solo album for some time now, but the guilt over the money I’d spend to buy it always got the best of me before. This month, though, I finally let desire win over quilt and Oh, gosh, I wasn’t let down. I had no doubt that Anthony Green was talented. I was well aware of his skill with Saosin and Circa Survive, but this solo record was really something special and I am so happy to finally own it. 

Circa Survive – “Suitcase”

Technically this should probably be the last track listed since it hit me at the end of the month, but since we’re talking about Anthony Green already, I might as well follow up with this gem. Apparently Circa Survive is releasing their next own on their own and it’s coming in in AUGUST! Oh, you don’t even know my excitement over this. Seriously. Expect lots of Circa Survive come August. Just warning you. 

Grouplove – “Tongue Tied”

A friend from high school who actually participates in Music Friday on Facebook suggested I give Grouplove a listen and since their album was on sale, I went ahead and bought it. And I’ll be honest, it’s stellar. If you’re looking for that happy summer sound, Grouplove just might be the band you’re looking for. Check them out, really. 

City and Colour – “Weightless”
So many times I’d heard of this artist, but it wasn’t until this past month that I finally gave them a listen. And of the two albums I now own, I can confirm their absolute awesomeness. If you haven’t check out this artist, you’re missing out. Period. 

Imagine Dragons – “Round and Round”
After expressing my interest in City and Colour my sister exposed me to Imagine Dragons and while there’s only an EP’s worth of tracks to love, OMG, I love them all. If you like indie, and also love a little beat, this might be a band for you. I can’t wait for an entire albums worth of tracks. I’m pretty sure they won’t let me down. 

Letter Kills – “Brand New Man”
If you’ve followed me long enough you know that 1) I steal music from whoever is advertising it, and 2) rarely like a band enough to enjoy every song by them. Well, this band was stolen from the drummer of Artifex Pereo, and were they still around, they may just qualify as one of the bands I like every song by. Too bad they didn’t last. 

Of Mice & Men – “The Depths”
Of Mice & Men announced the re-issue of their album, “The Flood,” and while I already own it and have no intentions of buying the whole album all over again, I am definitely anticipating the new tracks that are slated to accompany it, especially if they’re anywhere as awesome as this one.

Chantal Claret – “Light it Up”

It really sucks that I have no youtube link for this track because I promise you it’s so worth listening to and I fear you won’t follow THIS link to actually check it out. But you really, really should. While Chantal’s solo sound will never be in league with her Morningwood sound (IMO), the modern soul thing she’s doing now is really great, and I have no regrets over buying her new album this month!
In case you missed that link above, click HERE to HEAR “Light it Up”

And so, I guess that’s all I have to report this month. It feels like I had more to say, but this is already ridiculously long, so I’m guessing I probably covered it all. What were all of you up to in June?! Please sound off in the comments. I’d love to hear all about it! 

Peace & Love – Sarah