Summer recap–rereads, writing projects, and-whoa, podcasts exist

Hello friends!

The summer is ending/has ended/it wasn’t even summer in the first place if you live in the southern hemisphere–

Let’s just say, it’s the end of August.

As always, I spent the summer:

  • consuming as much art as possible in various forms
  • doing my best to create some art of my own
  • actively trying to avoid my problems (and failing)

Reading

I’m not going to talk too much about the books I read, because I want to do some mini-reviews some time soon, but rereads! Due to the fact that the library was closed for a while, I did a ton of rereads this summer. Including:

  • EVERY KATE DICAMILLO BOOK AND MY SOUL EXPLODED AND I FOUND THE STRENGTH TO FACE ANOTHER DAY AND HAVE HOPE FOR HUMANITY. Seriously. There is so much heartbreak and so much hope in her books, and I really really needed that this summer.
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes and The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews. Look at all my CHILDREN. Reading ATPN like, “Aw, man, I love this so much“. Then picking up TBWSH and LOSING MY MIND because of course I remembered that I loved Sam and Avery and the De Lainey’s, but remembering that they’re great isn’t the same as READING about them and I have so many FEELINGS.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’ve been meaning to reread this for the past couple YEARS, and I FINALLY got to it. I will never get over how incredible the writing is. And the CHARACTERS (MAAAAAAAAAAX).

Me: “I know it’s sad, but I don’t think I’m going to cry this time”

*2 pages later*

Me: *lying on my back on the floor sobbing loudly while my sister (who shares a room with me) keeps typing, ignoring me except to tell me not to apologize and to keep crying*

Writing

I finished drafting a novel in June! It’s a sequel, which I’ve never done before and certainly wasn’t planning on originally. It’s full of:

  • fairy tale characters
  • sibling banter
  • weather
  • my MC being the most awkward beanpole ever
  • allergies
  • sleep
  • random college student character who is zero percent important to the plot and lives on pretzels and canned peaches

I’m thinking about doing Nanowrimo in November (because, for the first time ever, I won’t be in school???), but that means I’ll have to PICK which PROJECT. And my brain has NOT been helping.

Me: “Okay, here’s a list of book ideas we’ve been thinking about for the past few years. Which one do you want?”

My Brain: “The one where the king’s nephew becomes the heir to the throne and gets caught up in the middle of a whole murdery plot.”

Me: “…I don’t see that on my list…”

My Brain: “Or what about the one where the kid’s uncle is murdered and he invites all the suspects to his British estate and tries to solve the mystery with his friend before they both get killed?”

Me: “Um…I can’t find that on my list either…”

My Brain:  “What about this kid with super dysfunctional fire powers?”

Me: “Wait a second–You’re just making stuff up, aren’t you?”

My Brain: “OK, BUT WHAT ABOUT ALIENS–”

Yes. I genuinely have a page and a half of notes for an alien story now. These things happen.

(Also, why is there so much murder??)

Music Listening

So normally this would be the section where I just scream about random songs I’ve been obsessed with recently (and I still will in a minute), but there’s something else I’ve gotta talk about first.

Podcasts EXIST.

I mean, I knew they existed. I’ve just never had any interest in them before. But my cousin recommended the first season of the podcast Blockbuster, and I wanted something to listen to while mudding and taping, so I decided to give it a try.

Blockbuster (podcast) - Wikipedia
source

The first season is about George Lucas and Steven Spielberg making movies in the 1970s. It’s documentary-like and there’s a narrator, but it’s very narrative-based and they have voice actors and foley and music. Also, 90% of the podcast is “Everything was going wrong! The movie was a disaster! And then John Williams stepped in and SAVED THE DAY WITH MUSIC” which made me quite happy.

The second season is about James Cameron, but I haven’t listened to it (because…no John Williams?). Maybe I will someday. Then again, I don’t really care for Titanic, so….

After that, I started thinking about radio dramas.

In my youth we had this CD set of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit radio dramas (DID ANYONE ELSE HAVE THESE?? Merry sounded like an old lady? They pronounced Legolas as LeGOlas? They had EVERY SINGLE VERSE of the Misty Mountains song and you would hit the skip button SEVEN BILLION TIMES and the song would still be going??). Aside from that, my only exposure to radio dramas was the occasional Adventures in Odyssey episode and a random Jonathan Park phase.

But after listening to Blockbuster, I started thinking, “This is its own art form. Gee, I wonder if people make radio drama podcasts…”

Look at me. I knew nothing.

A few minutes of noodling around on the internet later, I stumbled on The Bright Sessions…and proceeded to burn through all four seasons in twelve days.

The Bright Sessions Wiki | Fandom
source

It’s about people with supernatural abilities–

“Ah, I see,” you say. “Superheroes, right?”

Sort of? But they’re less Superman and Wonderwoman and more “Anxiety Girl and her steadfast companion Suppressed Trauma Boy.” (Yes, this is an actual quote from the show.)

The show revolves around these people’s therapy sessions with Dr. Bright (hence the title) as they learn how to control their abilities and all the angst that comes with them. It’s like X-men! But with less action and more talking!

Sure, it’s not perfect. There are:

  • moments of cheesy/forced dialogue
  • moments when the adults are discussing what to do about the shady government organization or someone who has been kidnapped and high-schooler Caleb walks in like, “LET’S TALK ABOUT MY LOVE LIFE.” *cue me internally (and sometimes externally) screaming because I’m not really a fan of teen-romantic-drama at the best of times and there are BIGGER THINGS GOING ON HERE*
  • The musical episode….I don’t even know. I think I was in physical pain. But also laughing?

But there’s also plenty to love, like:

  • Sam whose anxiety attacks trigger accidental time travel
  • Caleb who can feel other peoples emotions always being like, “OH NO, I MADE YOU SAD”
  • Chloe who is a telepath and a ray of sunshine
  • Damien who we hate, but maybe…Yeah, we still hate him, but also…it’s COMPLICATED
  • Agent Green. Just Agent Green.
  • Dr. Bright being like, “This is a professional doctor-patient relationship–nope, let’s go do a break-in together”
  • MAAAAAAAAARK
  • Exploring how different powers interact. What happens when you put a telepath and an empath in the same room together? Or two empaths?
  • The SIBLINGS, OK? The SIBLINGS.

Ok, wow. This is turning into a whole post about podcasts. Moving on!

Here’s a few songs I was jamming to this summer:

Movies/TV Shows Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Nickelodeon - Watch on CBS All Access
source

IT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.

I’ve been hearing about this show from my cousins for years. And I finally watched it and I am still ASTOUNDED by how truly wonderful it is. A list of things to love:

  • Aang being super-powerful bender and the actual AVATAR, but first and foremost he is a twelve-year-old boy and his priorities are, “Yes, right, save the world. BUT FIRST WE NEED TO GO SLED ON PENGUINS AND VISIT SINGING GROUNDHOGS”
  • Sokka being the BEST. Making terrible jokes, but also making great jokes. Complaining all the time but also being so supportive and heroic when it really counts. And–JUST BEING WONDERFUL.
  • TOPH. TOPH IS WONDERFUL AND I LOVE HER SO MUCH.
  • I know everyone talks about Zuko’s redemption arc….BUT ZUKO’S REDEMPTION ARC. It’s. So. Good. Zuko is my son.
  • UNCLE IROH. Changes everything and everyone for the better, and we love him dearly.
  • I WANT TO LIST EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER, but I won’t.
  • The siblings though!
  • And the TURTLE DUCKS
  • And the SECRET TUNNEL EPISODE

Ok, I’ll stop.

How was your summer? How did you cope with the fact that you couldn’t go to the library? What have you been reading and writing lately? Do you listen to podcasts? Have you watched Avatar? Do you prefer superheroes that are super-powerful or super-dysfunctional? Do tell!

14 responses to “Summer recap–rereads, writing projects, and-whoa, podcasts exist”

    • When I first heard the premise of the podcast I was like “…did I write this?” I’m always writing random scenes about people with powers and emotional turmoil XD Yes, watch ATLA!! It’s SO GOOD. I’m excited about (potentially) doing Nanowrimo (as long as my brain cooperates)!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Avatar is the BEST show. “Can your science explain why it rains?”
    I love Zuko and Toph so much. They’re my FAVORITES.

    I’ve never been able to get too into podcasts, because I have trouble listening. Your story sounds cute! Also, you trying to pick a writing idea is like…actual footage of myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it?? My love for Zuko and Toph is beyond words ❤ Yeah, if I try to just sit down and listen to something, I usually get distracted (by what? my brain??), but if I'm doing something like washing dishes or painting a wall, I find it much easier to focus. Haha, yeah. Picking a writing project is a serious struggle 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AH PODCASTS. Okay, I don’t listen to any radio dramas, but The Bright Sessions sound so cool. Ohhh, I’m trying to decide which kind of superheroes I like better. This is hard — on one hand, it is so legendary when everybody talks about how insanely powerful Percy Jackson is. But I only love it because of how dysfunctional his life is. This is too hard!
    Ahhh I love this post :)) Your avatar list, your story ideas(!!!!), and I’m looking forward to reading your mini-reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so weird because I’ve never had any interest in podcasts at all, and now I’m suddenly slightly obsessed XD Yes! My favorite Percy Jackson book has always been The Lightning Thief, because it was back when Percy had just been thrown into this whole other world with no idea what was going on or how to fight monsters 🙂 Thanks! I look forward to writing those mini-reviews!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hiii!!! I saw the words “the bright sessions” and HAD to read. And yes I can relate I got through all the episodes in about 3 weeks, not as fast as you, but still my parents’ concern levels were HIGH. It was cool to hear your thoughts on TBS because sadly not many people have heard of it and I could finally scream to somebody else who’s listened to it! Personally, I liked the musical episode, but then I’m already a musical person, so. AND YES WE ADORE CALEB AND CHLOE AND SAM AND MARK AND DAMIEN IN A WEIRD WAY AND EVERYBODY ELSE BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. *waves from the was-never-summer camp*

    “…why is there so much murder??” -> my mother @ me (“IT WAS ONE CHARACTER, MUM”)

    Those are all very good ideas from your brain! (so your established list must be fascinating!) I particularly like the British estate one – would it be similar in style to an Agatha Christie?

    And for superheroes, I think I prefer the dysfunctional ones? I mean, a) flaws are what makes a character interesting and personal; and b) the more powerful the superhero, the more powerful the villain has to be, and then it gets into this ridiculous nuclear-race type situation. They need flaws to keep them contained. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    • *waves back through the core of the earth, hoping you’re wearing your x-ray vision goggles so you can see me*
      Hehe, yes. My mum is actually pretty cool about murder (NOT IN REAL LIFE. SHE’S NOT AN AXE MURDERER, I PROMISE.), but I think my dad gets a little concerned sometimes.
      Thanks! I haven’t been exposed to a lot of Agatha Christie (I’ve seen a few movie adaptions), but I think it would be similar in the whole murder-mystery-everyone’s-a-suspect sense. I had the idea before I watched Knives Out, but I’m thinking it might be sort of a similar style to that? My hope is to make it witty and funny as well as murdery.
      YES, BRING US ALL THE DYSFUNCTIONAL FLAWED SUPERHEROES. Ugh, invincible ultra-powerful hero vs. invincible ultra-powerful villain gets so old so fast. “They need flaws to keep them contained” is so true XD

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, a bit late to this but whatever. 😄

    Isn’t Kate DiCamillo one of the best things to bless earth in recent years?!!! Her writing, her characters, her themes…just AAAaaaGGGggHHHHHHHHhhh!!!!!! *sobs* I LOVE her books so incredibly much.

    I’ve been wanting to read C.G. Drew’s books (I keep hearing how amazing they are) but I haven’t gotten around to it. Must read soon.

    Your novel sounds like perfection. You literally mentioned only SEVEN things but it’s already making me happy. Especially the unnecessary college kid who lives on pretzels and canned peaches. 😊

    Ooh! Are you going to do NaNoWriMo?! Is it your first time?

    Oh no. Jonathan Park. *shudders* My sister and I listened to them religiously when we were little, even though we hated Jonathan’s guts and thought the parents were so annoying. Thankfully, we outgrew it soon enough. 😬😂

    Okay, but the Bright Sessions sound absolutely fantastic. Totally checking them out. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Great post and quite fun to read! I look forward to snooping around your blog and finding other posts with which to amuse myself with. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • KATE DICAMILLO. *cries tears of heartbreak and joy in equal measure* She is the best.
      Yes, read C.G. Drews’ books if you can! (Especially TBWSH <3)
      Aw, thanks so much! I had so much fun writing it (and writing a bullet point description of it XD).
      I'm hopefully doing Nanowrimo, if I'm not too busy. I've done the camp in July before, but I've never done it in November (because SCHOOL, UGH). I really hope I have time this November!!
      You listened to Jonathan Park?? My sisters and I sort of hated it too, but we kept listening to it for a while…why? (Actually, I think one reason was that we liked Eddie?)
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That would be cool if you do! I hope you have time. I’ve only done it once before, but I had a really good first-time experience and I hope you do to (if you decide to do it)!

        Yes, we did. 😂 Haha, that’s funny because we liked Eddy too. And Mike. 😆 This is really bringing back the nostalgia.

        Liked by 1 person

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