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37 Day Hiatus

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Oof. Deadlines are ROUGH. As I previouslyΒ mentioned, this summer is all about finishing the first draft of the book I’ve been plotting/writing. Now that I’m in the home stretch (just 37 days left to go) I really need to shift my focus into high gear and remain focused. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to take the remainder of this summer off from my blog and devote just about all of my attention and free time to making my self-imposed deadline.

I’ll still be contributing toΒ Sugar and Scream during this time though, so I won’t be totally removed from WP. Here’s hoping I make it back with a completed first draft AND my sanity intact come the fall. πŸ˜‰

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Pup Cups, Pumpkins, and Photos: July 2021 Wrap-Up

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Update #1: Pup Cups

My mom and I like to try to get together for coffee once a week, specifically Biggby frozen coffees with extra espresso in them because we are absolute fiends for caffeine. Well, as of late, our girls’ day coffee adventures have only gotten better with the addition of a third member of our “Treat Yo’ Self” squad, that being my parents’ new resident fluff monster that they got a few months back. (Like this dog needed any more reasons to love going for car rides.) πŸ˜›

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Update #2: Pumpkin Babies

Our pumpkin patch is already fast at work producing flowers and pumpkin babies for the fall. I think this pumpkin patch will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because I love pumpkins, but also because the first harvest was for our wedding last October. ❀ Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!

Update #3: Writing Progress

Writer Girl Summer is going really well. πŸ™‚ I’ve mostly been cruising along right on track to have my first draft complete by the first day of fall, so here’s hoping I can keep this pace up. *fingers crossed*

Update #4: Reading, Or Rather, a Lack There Of

I didn’t get much reading done in July, mostly due to a misplaced charger for my Kindle that has thankfully since been found. Also, when I wasn’t writing, let’s be honest, I was mostly watching a ton of anime. While my kindle charger was misplaced, I had to take a break on finishing Pet Sematary for my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes, I started reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

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Update #5: Drawing

Other than completing theΒ Drawing Shark Week art challenge I participated in, I didn’t get a whole lot of drawing time in since this summer my focus is mostly on writing. Buuuut I’m hoping to at least squeeze in a couple Fan Art Friday posts this month since my last one was *GASP* all the way back in mid-May??! I can’t even keep up with time these days it seems. 2021 is just barreling by at breakneck speed and it’s all I can even do to try to remember what day it is half the time. Back to the point though, it will be good to get some more practice in with Procreate and my iPad Pro. I’m still loving it, I just have soooo much to learn!

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Update #6: Watching

July mostly had me been binge-watching the first 4 seasons of My Hero Academia with my husband, but I also started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on my own. We also enjoyed the 3 week Netflix event for the Fear Street trilogy of movies. I think we may have squeezed a couple other movies in as well, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is Gunpowder Milkshake.

Update #7: Baking

For my husband’s dad’s birthday I made a triple chocolate cake. My husband also really enjoys these honey cornbread muffins I make so I made some of those which we enjoyed with honey cinnamon butter. (SO good.) I also have an abundance of frozen blueberries I want to use up, so this weekend I made blueberry muffins. Aaaand if you follow the Sugar and Scream blog that C&M and I host together, you’ll have seen some pics of freshly bakedΒ bone-shaped snickerdoodle cookies we posted about in early July.

What shenanigans did you get up to in July? Any big plans for August? Hoping you all have an excellent month! πŸ˜€

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1 Month Into “Writer Girl Summer”

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Secretly this past month, behind the scenes, this ignited moth has been busy. Today marks one month since I’ve started my own personal writing goal for the summer. You always see the “Hot Girl Summer” hashtag so I tweaked the name and dubbed this summer “Writer Girl Summer”. πŸ˜› I have a tendency to want to work on a million things at once, but this summer my focus is on writing (with the exception of a couple small drawing challenges like the Shark Week art challenge I previously posted). The goal is simple: take the scraps of writing I’d previously been working on, the very detailed plot outline, and a metric fuck ton of caffeine, and use this summer to complete the first draft for my book I’m working on.

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I feel like this past month was REALLY productive, but the past couple days I’ll admit, I’ve been slacking, so what better way to get motivated again than to hold myself accountable by posting about it here on my blog? πŸ˜‰ Changing some of my writing habits has been really helpful, and I really want to keep that momentum going.

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What are you working on this summer? πŸ™‚ Do you find that the more people you talk to about your goals, the more successful you are in the long run? I’m sure hoping that sharing my writing journey here will help keep me on track. πŸ˜€

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May/June Book Haul

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I can’t even keep track of what day it is anymore, so some of the books in this haul may have been bought in May, and some in June, maybe all were in June, I don’t even know. lol Seriously, today was like the second time I’ve filled my gas tank since wayyyy back in mid-March if that puts it into perspective how little I’ve left the house via car to go anywhere the past few months. Needless to say, these books were purchased via my kindle. Can you tell we take social distancing serious af in this house? πŸ˜‰

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Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland

I’m about a quarter of the way through this book and I’m really enjoying it. I love the narration of the main character, plus any book that can combine historical fiction and zombies as well as this one does is a win for me. I’m already planning to buy the sequel to this book and I haven’t even finished this one, if that tells you anything. πŸ™‚

. . . . .

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Clean Sweep, by Ilona Andrews

As is often the case with good books, this one came per suggestion from none other thanΒ  Cupcakes & Machetes. Check out her review for more info on this lovely little mashup of fantasy and science fiction. I read and really enjoyed this first installment of The Innkeeper Chronicles and have since moved on to the second book. Space werewolves and vampires, living inns for the supernatural that have a symbiotic relationships with their innkeepers, and other fun little surprises kept me entertained from the start. Luckily, also thanks to C&M, I got the first 3 books in a nice little kindle bundle sale. πŸ™‚

. . . . .

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Sweep In Peace, by Ilona Andrews

This series is a charming read and I was glad to have it on hand for a much-needed distraction after the sudden loss of a beloved family pet. πŸ˜₯Β  I’m almost halfway through this second installment. The books definitely make for a quick and fun read.

. . . . .

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One Fell Sweep, by Ilona Andrews

Still reading the second book in this series, but I’m sure I’ll be diving into this third installment soon enough.

. . . . .

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Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

“They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.” I’ve read really good reviews for this book, and it was a GR Readers Choice Awards winner for 2018, so I’m really looking forward to checking it out.

. . . . .

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The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

A post-apocalyptic fantasy that boasts some pretty solid reviews. I’m excited to read this one, especially with all the talk of how good the worldbuilding is supposed to be in it. πŸ˜€

. . . . .

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne

Putting this out there right now, I’m fairly certain this one is gonna make me cry. I saw the ending (yes, just the ending) of the film and I was bawling my eyes out, so I can only imagine what the book is going to do to me.

. . . . .

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Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor

A fantasy book set in Nigeria that is supposed to be a breath of fresh air with very unique worldbuilding. Sounds good to me! πŸ™‚

. . . . .

So, how about you guys? Find any good books lately? What are you reading that really strikes your fancy? Who else misses how easy it used to be to go to your local bookstore and just shop around and browse all those glorious books in person??

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Binge-Watching, Baking and Back to Blogging

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Anyone else feel like they’ve lost their grasp of time lately? It’s been just over two months since my other half and I last had regular Monday through Friday schedules, and almost just as long since my last blog post as well. Quarantine has my brain all over the place, even more than usual these days. I can’t tell you how many times this month I’ve still thought we were in April. lol

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I’d like to say I’ve been using my time wisely and kicking the shit out of my new year’s resolutions, but this is NOT the 2020 I signed up for, so that’s a big NOPE for me. πŸ˜‰ What I have mostly been doing is just been binge-watching shows and movies with my fiance and kitty, and doing things that make me happy and keep me focused on one thing at a time instead of a thousand things and worries all at once. Gotta keep that mental health in check! ❀

I used to bake all the time and eventually got kind of sick of it a while back. (I was always the person who was in charge of baking for every single event, be it in my personal, work, or school life and baking big batches of stuff time and time again just kind of got old after a while.) Well, with all this free time on my hands, I’ve been on quite the Quarantine Baking Spree. Some recipes made include:

  • Pumpkin Toffee Bread
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Rainbow Chip Cake Cookies with Whipped Frosting
  • Strawberry Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Banana Bread
  • Butterscotch Mousse
  • Dark Chocolate Oreo Mousse
  • Banana Cream Mousse

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As for creative things, it’s been touch and go. I have been drawing a fair amount, which has been nice. I’ve been posting the art over on my Instagram account which I use far more regularly. I really like Instagram for more frequent use, but I do miss the wonderful community and friends I’ve found here on WP. Like Imperial Rebel Ork has pointed out before, I think the blogosphere allows us to get more connected and have more of an actual dialogue with one another. πŸ™‚

I’ve also been trying to learn new tricks and techniques to get back into digital art. I got a fancy new art tablet for my birthday back in January and there is sooo much to learn but I am really loving all the options and artistic freedom it allows. Hopefully in the near future I can start actually making pieces with it once I feel I’ve learned how to best utilize it.

Writing has been a real “when it rains it pours” kind of situation. Some days I’m really productive, and others I’m like “What the hell am I even doing??” My attention span has been all over the place during this so my reading has been a lot less frequent as well. I’ve started reading multiple books (interesting ones, too) and then my brain goes “Nah, bitch, not today!” and they return to the TBR pile from whence they came.

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On days that the weather has been kind, we’ve gone walking, but it’s mostly been snowing and raining or just too cold, so there hasn’t been as much of that as we would have liked. I think one of the major things I miss doing is going to the gym. Hitting the treadmill with my earbuds in and listening to music or an audiobook was something I really enjoyed doing before or after work. I’m not cool enough to pretend I haven’t put my gym shoes on and done laps in my dining room/kitchen while listening to an audiobook. πŸ˜›

Mr. Moth returns to work tomorrow, so I’m guessing that will bring some normalcy back into our routine, but I’m also anxious about him going back too. Michigan is one of the states that has been hit really hard with COVID-19, and one of the parts of Michigan that has been a hot spot for the virus is the place we call home. I know good people who have lost their life to the virus, and it breaks my heart thinking about them and their families. Luckily most of the people I know who have gotten it have since fully recovered. ❀ A lot of the major people in my life that I care about are essential workers and have been working through the whole thing and I’m so glad that they’re okay. I hope you guys and your loved ones are doing well, too. ❀ I’m looking forward to catching up on some of the blog posts I’ve been missing. Please feel free to link me some exciting posts of yours I may have missed in the comments! I can’t say for sure how frequently I’ll be posting, but I’ll try not to make it another 2 months of radio silence between posts. πŸ˜‰

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Quickie Book Review: Symbiont

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A world where people can live free of disease and sickness sounds pretty tempting, right? Well, what if the cure for these ailments came in the small and tidy little package of genetically engineered tapeworm implants? Not quite as tempting, is it? Well, in the world of the Parasitology novels, the general public was not so easily swayed by their squeamishness, and these tapeworms caught on pretty quickly and on a mass scale. Then, in standard science fiction tradition, the shit hits the fan.

People with these cure-all implants have begun losing control. The tapeworms are taking over their hosts, and they are hungry little buggers. Like, zombie-horde-levels of hungry.

This book is a solid sequel to Mira Grant’sΒ Parasite. The characters are up against tough odds with enemies on all sides. Not everyone with the implants are reduced to mindless hunger machines that just want to eat people, and not all humans are good and trustworthy. There were a lot of interesting moments in this book, and I greatly look forward to reading the third installment in the future.

Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ°

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January 2020 Updates

I can’t believe the first month of the new year is already almost over! January is always a big month for reflection and goal setting for me. It marks not only the start of a new calendar year, but also a new year in my life since it is my birthday month.

I know my blog posts have been far and few between and while I’d like to say that that is about to change, I’m afraid I can make no such claim. This year is going to be nuts. Between planning our wedding/honeymoon, my creative pursuits, work, etc. I will do my best to post when I can, but I also am not going to beat myself up over it if it isn’t as often as I’d like. 2020 is going to be an interesting year full of lots of crazy adventures and I’m kind of just living in the moment and trying to push forward to work toward my goals while also making sure I have time for the things and people that make me happy. ❀

Anywhoooo, onto some of the stuff I’ve been up to the past couple weeks!

Currently Reading:

I’m currently hopping back and forth between Mira Grant’s second Parasitology novel, Symbiont, and January’s book club choice, Missing in Michigan, by April A. Taylor. And because reading two books at once is never enough, I’ve decided that adding a graphic novel into the mix was obviously the right way to go. πŸ˜‰ Lady Mechanika, Volume 1 has been on my TBR List (and bookshelf of neglected titles) for too long, so I finally decided to take the plunge. Between one book about everything that could go wrong when scientists play God with genetically engineered tapeworms, another about a mystery-solving therapist to the dead, and yet another filled with lots of steampunk and monster goodness, I think I have plenty to keep me entertained no matter what I’m in the mood for.

Currently Playing:

Mr. Moth and I gifted each other a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and we’ve been having an absolute blast with it. I have always loved Mario Kart 64 but never ventured into any of the following iterations of the game over the years. I always worried with all the loopy crazy tracks that it would bitch smack me with some serious vertigo. Fortunately, this turned out not to be the case. πŸ˜€ There’s definitely a lot of differences from what I’m used to with the Nintendo 64 version, but I love it. We’ve been playing some other games along the way and have really enjoyed Unravel Two. It’s such a mellow and oddly-calming game. Kind of reminds me of how I felt when I played Never Alone. Speaking of games I’ve played and enjoyed before, Shovel Knight was one we decided we wanted to re-play. “All hail the Troupple King!”

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In other gaming news, although I, myself, am not playing it, I have been watching Mr. Moth play Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It’s a cool puzzle-based blend of history/mythology/psychology, and it’s been fun (and frustrating) helping Mr. Moth hunt for runes in the game. I like playing games, but I also enjoy watching others play them as well. πŸ™‚

Current Creative Projects:

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Back in November I found my writing groove once more through NaNoWriMo, buuuuut then the holiday season brought it all to a grinding halt. Thankfully, things have finally settled down once more and I’m back at it. πŸ™‚

In other creative news, I have a very exciting update regarding my future art projects. Although my birthday isn’t technically until the end of the month, celebrations have already begun. Among other awesome prezzies, I received a snazzy new drawing tablet! I’m so excited about it. There’s a lot for me to learn and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to work on any digital art, but I can’t wait to get the hang of it and start making lots of new illustrations.

Anyway, that’s it for my January update post. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll try to at least do one of these types of post near the end of each month, and then we’ll see what else I can pepper in here and there throughout the months to come. I hope everyone is doing well and having a fantastic start to the new year. ❀ ❀ ❀

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The Quiet Boy (Short Story) Review

 

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My Inktober wendigo art from this year.

Who loves wendigo stories? Why, yours truly, of course! πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I love legendary and mythical creatures of all sorts, but wendigos are always a special sort of treat in my book.Β  Needless to say, I am really excited to see the upcoming horror film Antlers, produced by Guillermo del Toro.

For those of you wondering to yourself, WTF a wendigo is, here is your quick Wendigo 101 lesson for the day: A Wendigo is an evil spirit from Native American Algonquian legend that will corrupts anyone who has committed the unforgivable crime of cannibalism. The evil spirit twists the human it is influencing into a monstrous version of themselves with a horrible, never-ending hunger, and a murderous cruelty that knows no bounds. Since these legends originate in Canada and the Great Lakes regions of the United States, it is no surprise that winters were hard where these tales originated. People didn’t always make it through the winter, and hunger can make people desperate enough that they’d do anything to survive, even taking part in an act as taboo as cannibalism. In a lot of ways the legend of the wendigo can be seen as a cautionary tale.

Last week I found out that this movie is actually based off the plot of a short story called The Quiet Boy, written by Nick Antosca, creator of Channel Zero. Always a fan of reading the source material before I watch a movie or show its based on, I tried to look up the story on GoodReads but couldn’t find it. Then I saw over on the Bloody Disgusting website that you could read the entire short story HERE on the Guernica site. So, if you’re interested, check it out.

Anyway, let’s get onto my review for The Quiet Boy, shall we? πŸ™‚

Julia is just starting her teaching career when Teach For America lands her in a small town in the middle of nowhere, where the unofficial town motto is “Hills, Whores, and Liquor Stores.” Definitely not was she was hoping for when she dreamed of being a teacher. Still, our protagonist wants to do right by her fourth graders.

While teaching her kids about storytelling, specifically of the fairy tale and tall tale variety, one of her young students named Lucas catches her attention with the story he is working on. What she initially assumes is going to be another cookie cutter take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, turns out to be something much different altogether, and something far more sinister.

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Drawing from Lucas’ story in the Antlers movie trailer.

Worried for Lucas, she wants to help the boy, and learn more about what his home life might be like. Between the underlying themes in the boy’s story he is writing and the fact that Lucas always comes to school in old clothes, always smells like damp leaves and damp animal fur, and looks to be very underfed, Julia assumes things aren’t great at home. She also worries that Lucas’ father might be a drunk and not taking proper care of him or his younger brother. Her fellow teachers view Lucas as one of those lost cause kids,Β  but Julia wants to help him, and to learn more about what his life at home might be like. Due to how private and protective Lucas is any time she brings up home or his family, Julia decides to pay his home a surprise visit when she is sure he won’t be there. What she discovers is nothing she could have imagined. Things get dark pretty quickly from this point on in the story, but I won’t spoil the fun. πŸ˜‰ It’s a quick read and I provided the link so you can read it if you’re interested in seeing what Julia finds. The story does its own thing with the wendigo legend, and I thought it was interesting the direction it went in.

I’d rate it 4 out of 5 stars, and reading it made me excited to see how it will be adapted into a movie when it hits theaters in April 2020. πŸ™‚

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Tra La La

NaNoWriMo 2019: Mission Accomplished

I’m baaaaaack!

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It feels like an eternity since I’ve gotten to mingle with all my awesome blogging buddies here on WP, and this moth is excited to be back and see what all I’ve missed! ❀

As mentioned in my last post back in October, I’ve been on a hiatus from blogging for the past month so I could devote all my free time on completing NaNoWriMo. (The popular writing challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November.) Well, my dears, I am very pleased to announce that many heavily caffeinated beverages later, I have indeed vanquished the NaNoWriMo beast and completed the challenge!

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I’ll admit, there were a couple times near the end that I worried with my schedule that it just wasn’t going to happen. I wrote almost every day, and sometimes I could squeeze a lot of writing time in, but other days it was next to none, but I did it, and with a whole day to spare, even! 50,161 words in 29 days!

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I think doing two creative challenges over the span of the last two months (Inktober and NaNoWriMo) was exactly what I needed for both my creativity AND my confidence. I learned that if I force myself to make time for what I love doing and focus on actually just doing things rather than just thinking about them that I can accomplish quite a lot. I’ve also learned that when experiencing writer’s block or not knowing what to draw, that sometimes just pushing through the creative block and actually doing it gets your creativity flowing again. 2019 may be coming to an end fast, but I plan to take what I’ve learned the last two months and top off the year with that determination. I’m very excited to work on continuing this practice in 2020 as well. πŸ™‚

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I’m looking forward to catching up on what everyone has been up to. How was your November? Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? If so, how’d ya do?? πŸ™‚ I hope everyone has a very happy December. Let’s make the most out of the last stretch of the year! ❀

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Tra La La

Bring It On, NaNoWriMo!

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So, life kicked me in the butt today, but rather than letting it discourage me, I’m saying to hell with it, and letting it encourage me instead. You know what goes great with soul-crushing disappointment? C-R-E-A-T-I-V-I-T-Y!!! (Seriously, there’s a reason for the “tortured artist” stereotype.) I’ve been getting back in my art groove this month with the infamous Inktober art challenge, but behind the scenes of that I’ve also been prepping for next month’s writing challenge NaNoWriMo. Two creative and grueling challenges in two months? Oh, hell yes. So, bring it on National Novel Writing Month. I’m ready for ya this year.

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I even did a thing and signed up for the official NaNoWriMo website. If any of you guys are on there too, let’s be writing partners in crime and root each other on! πŸ˜€ You can see my official NaNoWriMo profile here! πŸ™‚ It’s pretty sparse right now since I just signed up and haven’t had much time to check out the site yet, but there will be updates/content to come–especially once November hits!

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So, who else is getting in on the NaNoWriMo fun this year? The more the merrier! πŸ˜‰