Sunday Summary – July 16, 2017

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Usually, I try to take stock in the first week or so of July, evaluating where I am and where I would like to be by the end of the year. The first two weeks of this July have been so busy I haven’t been able to do that yet, so I thought I might do it now, along with weekly reflections.

This week in writing

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The last two weeks I have sadly not been able to work on Memories and Magic, and I’m starting to get twitchy about it. After this weekend, I should be able to get back into my regular routines, but I am a bit behind where I hoped to be by now.

Goals:

  • Finish re-writing Part 2 of Memories and Magic by  the end of August
  • Finish re-writing Part 3 by the end of October
  • Finish revisions by the end of the year

This is possibly ambitious. There’s quite a bit to rewrite and expand upon. And I’ll once again be doing two uni subjects. But I would love to have this ready for readers by the end of the year.

This week in readingreadingthumb

After speeding through five of the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket, I am back to The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig. I’m also listening to The Art of Purring by David Michie. This is the sequel to The Dalai Lama’s Cat, which I read some weeks ago and really enjoyed.

I’m well on track to reach my goal of 75 books for this year (and surpass it) and I don’t really have any other reading-related goals.

This week in blogging

blogginthumbThis keeps trucking along. I’d really like to have a bit more time to commit to blog hops, or memes on other places like Twitter, but I always seem to commit and then fall off the wagon after a week or so. So at the moment, my aim is just to keep posting regular reviews along with WWW Wednesday posts and the occasional tag on this blog, and WIPpet Wednesday and Sunday Sessions posts on Letting the Voices Out.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

I’m still enjoying free time at the moment; next semester starts at the end of July. I’m going to be doing one core subject and one elective this semester. I proved to myself last semester that I can do two courses at once and still maintain my good results. I’ve only got 18 months left of this degree now. I’ve been enjoying it, but I also look forward to not studying any more.

This week in health and fitness

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I’m really not sure where I am on this at the moment, for a couple of reasons. When I weighed in last week, I appeared to have lost 5.4kg, which seemed unlikely, but I was willing to take it. This week, I appeared to have gained all that back.  I am also experimenting with not counting calories and just trying to be sensible about what I eat. So I may have really gained 5kg (unlikely) or there was an anomoly. Either way, it will take a couple of weeks to sort it out.

Goal: reach 74kg by the end of July. This might also be ambitious, but I’m aiming high.

That’s my week. How are you going?  ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – June 18, 2017

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After a bit of an absence, Sundary Summary makes its return.  I think I should be able to keep this up now. Though to be honest, the past week hasn’t been the greatest to report on!

This week in writing

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I’ve been trying to revise a chapter every day of Memories and Magic, though that hasn’t gone as smoothly as I’d hoped. A number of reasons have factored into that, including fatigue and illness, but I’m hoping these will clear up soon and I’ll be able to get back into a proper routine with it.

 

This week in readingreadingthumb

I’m still reading Dracula by Bram Stoker very slowly, and I have just switched to the paperback format for Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (from audio). I have accepted I’m probably not quite going to completemy April-June TBR, but I’m going to come pretty damn close!

This week in blogging

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For first time in several weeks, I have managed to return blog comments and visit fellow blog hoppers. I also posted two reviews this week, again the first time I have managed this in a while: Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder and The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie. Not only that, but I have two reviews already scheduled for the coming week as well!

I’ve also started a new series on my writing blog, titled Sunday Sessions. Each week, I’ll reflect on some aspect of writing, whether my own writing or just in general.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

I handed in my last piece of assessment for the semester on Tueday June 6, and it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. And you probably don’t remember the assignment I was working on at the start of May, that I was quite convinced I’d fail… but I got a78 for it! Which may not sound like much depending on where you study, but at my university 80 is a high distinction.

This week in health and fitness

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Fitness has taken a back seat the last few weeks, and I know I need to pick it up again. I always feel so much better when I’m exercising regularly and eating well. My restart was going to be this week, but then I got sick. I’m hoping that I’ll be back on my feet soon enough and able to continue with this journey. 

That’s my week. How are you going?  ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – April 16, 2017

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I know, I know, two posts in one day! But today did seem the most appropriate day for my previous post, being the end of the month, and since I didn’t do a Sunday Summary post last week, I wanted to get one done today. So here we are!

This week in writing

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I finished the first draft of Memories and Magic nearly two weeks ago now. It came in at about 51k. It needs a lot of revisions and I can envisage it getting up around 60k or so in further drafts. I have been thinking about a possible sequel and doing a bit of brainstorming for that. I’m also considering doing the Story a Day in May challenge again, so watch this space tomorrow!

this week in reading

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I’ve finished quite a few things over the last couple of weeks. You can read my April Wrap Up here for a full list. Hoping to get a bit further with my challenges over the next month!

This week in blogging

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Because I’ve been so busy with uni work over the last couple of weeks, I ended up taking a mini hiatus from blogging, so that I didn’t feel the weight of needing to visit other people. I’m also a bit behind on reading, which has left me a bit behind on reviewing. But after tomorrow, I’ll be much less stressed about uni, so I’ll be able to start making up for my absence.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

My 4000-word report is due tomorrow. I’ve got the thing written, I’ve just got to go through and add in references (I did a lot of reading and then just keyboard-smashed, so the references need to be inserted). It’s not my best work, but given how stressed I was about this a week ago, I’m just glad to get it in. I’ve done the maths, and I’d have to do pretty freaking badly for a mark on this one paper to lead to failing the whole course.

This week in health and fitness

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Heh. Once again, I have gained back the weight I lost at the start of the month. It’s easy to blame Easter, but it’s really my own lack of willpower at times like Easter that does it. And when colleagues bring chocolate fudge in to work. However, now that I’ve finished the Beginners calendar on Blogilates, I can follow along with the monthly calendars, which means that there won’t be a gap while I’m waiting for new exercises. I’m hoping keeping consistent with that will keep me consistent overall.

Other highlights this week

My partner and I have had two great theatre outings this week. The first was to The Play That Goes Wrong, a West End comedy that I had wanted to see ever since seeing a scene from it on the Royal Variety Performance back in 2015. The second was a stage adaptation of Dracula by shake & stir theatre, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has been a long time since a piece of theatre affected me so much. I was still pacing around my kitchen an hour after we returned home because I was all a-buzz. Just the way the set, lighting and sound design all interacted with the performers made for an incredible show. I’ll stop gushing now but here’s the ad to give you just a glimpse of it:

That’s my week. How are you going?  ~ Emily

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“My geekness is a-quivering.” // Review of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2” by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2
Author: J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Genre: YA/Play script
Date Read: 14/08/2016
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

Having not been involved at all in Harry Potter fandom since about 2008, I wasn’t really worried about whether I read this book or not. However, when my partner finally found an outlet in our city that wasn’t sold out and bought himself a copy, I decided to form my own thoughts regardless. To my surprise, I actually got caught up in the nostalgia, and the new characters, and ended up really enjoying it!

Harry Potter is now 40 years old, struggling with his relationship with his son, Albus, and on top of that, his scar has been hurting and he’s been having nightmares leading him to think that someone connected to the Dark Lord may be at large. Meanwhile, Albus and best friend Scorpius Malfoy, decide to try to right some of the wrongs wreaked by Lord Voldemort in the past, only to almost plunge the world back into darkness again.

I totally get why so many people were disappointed by this new addition to the Harry Potter ‘verse. For a start, the play format is not supposed to be read, and if you’re not used to reading plays (I am, I’ve been doing theatre for 15 years), I’m sure that would have tarnished the experience. A script is not written to be consumed en masse; it’s written to give the actors the necessary information to bring it to life on stage. I’ve seen complaints about some of the stage directions, but the thing is, stage directions aren’t meant to immerse you in the world. They’re the instructions for someone else who is going to do that immersing.

The structure of the story is also different to the novels. There is no starting off pre-school-year and then following the characters throughout the year towards a climax in June. It’s all rather more complicated than that and Hogwarts actually doesn’t play a huge role, so I totally appreciate that some readers did not feel that they were “back”.

As for the characters, I actually found myself sympathising far more with Harry in this story than I ever did in the novels (I always agreed with Hermione about his “saving people thing”). Draco Malfoy still has enough of teenage Draco in him to recognise, but he has matured as well, and tends to bring out the snark only when necessary, rather than every opportunity. There is still a lot of simmering tension between him and Harry, and I can see that playing out really well onstage.

I loved Albus and Scorpius’ friendship of epic proportions, though I did feel their motivations within their arc were a little over the top. Their character development through the course of the plot was well done, though, and their dialogue is great. Scorpius is such an unapologetic little geek, and I loved that.

There are some problems with some character development of other characters, but I was able to shrug it off a bit more. In most cases, it was either a side-character, or it was a development which was later addressed, so I was able to let it go.

There are some twists that are probably not a surprise to anyone anymore (unless you’ve been really, really careful to avoid spoilers). The big one is rather cliché and even a bit squicky, though I hope it would play out better onstage than in a dry script.

Overall, I think Cursed Child has the makings of a wonderful play, which I would love to see onstage. If this is the only preview I get for a while, though, I’ll be happy enough with that .


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