October 2021 Life Update and Suggestions for Next Year’s Posts

Hi, everyone. I wanted to let you know what’s been going on since my last update, and I wanted to provide an opportunity for you to provide suggestions for the content I share next year.

Not much has changed in my life. I’m still pretty busy with homework and grading. I had to take a couple weeks off because I got completely overwhelmed with midterms and other massive assignments that required a lot of time and energy. Those are over now, and I should be back to normal. I mostly just have my final projects left at this point. I feel like the semester has flown by.

When I’m not doing homework or grading, I’m often working on projects related to my master’s thesis. One of my tasks for my thesis is to get an official number for the archaeological site I’m researching, and I also need to track down any information I can find on the property’s history. I discovered the site was likely pot hunted by some well-known people in the area, which is interesting. I’ve found some relevant property records, but it’s been rather challenging chasing the title any earlier than the 1960s, even though I have access to records going as far back as the earliest homesteading in the 1800s. That’s been an incredibly time-consuming task, but it’s really exciting getting to learn more about the site’s history, especially now that I have a lead with the pot hunters.

I still haven’t done any writing, but I did read a book! The final Dragonwatch book came out on October 26th. I wasn’t feeling all that well this past weekend due to an ear infection and some other things, so I read the whole thing. I can’t believe the series is over. I went to the launch party for the first book in March of 2017. I had just graduated high school. It’s crazy to me that I got a college degree in the time it took for the whole series to come out. But it’s done now. I’ll be talking more about it in a moment.

The main thing I want to focus on for this post is what my blog will look like for the rest of this year and for next year. I’ve made the decision to cut back on my posts for the rest of 2021. I really want to finish Welcome to Kareena, and if I try to keep up with two Behind the Storyteller posts each week, I’m not going to be able to do that. I’m going to drop to one Behind the Storyteller post per week, so I have more time to work on Welcome to Kareena. There will still be two posts this week, but starting next week, I’m going to drop to Thursdays only. I’m talking about Shadow and Bone next, and all the posts I have planned for that trilogy will basically take us to the end of the year.

For next year, I’m planning on sticking to once a week for Behind the Storyteller. I haven’t decided between Tuesday and Thursday yet. I’m not sure it really matters, but if you have a preference, please share in the comments. For the book reviews, I will finally be reviewing Brandon Mull’s books. I’m planning on starting with the Beyonders trilogy and then doing Fablehaven and Dragonwatch now that the last book is out. Since the Fablehaven and Dragonwatch series each have five books in them, I am planning on doing reviews for them every other week and reviewing a standalone book for the weeks in between. If you aren’t interested in Mull’s books, there will still be other content for you every other week.

When I do my book reviews, I was wondering if you have a preference for spoiler versus spoiler-free. I chose to do The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter with spoilers because they’re such popular series that most people already know about them and their spoilers. With Steelheart and The Girl of Fire and Thorns, most of the things I wanted to talk about are spoilers, which is why I included them. However, if you would rather see more spoiler-free reviews, I am thinking of starting the post with a spoiler-free review and then moving into discussions of spoilers for those who are interested. Let me know your thoughts on spoiler versus spoiler-free reviews in the comments.

Since most of the books I’m planning on reviewing next year don’t have movie adaptations, I wanted to throw in some movie reviews as well. I think there are plenty of storytelling lessons we can learn from movies too. I haven’t seen many discussions of Disney’s live action remakes, so I’m thinking about reviewing the original animated movie and the live action remake side-by-side to discuss how the storytelling changes from one version to the other. These reviews would be about once every two months. Let me know if you are interested in these or if you have suggestions for other movie-based reviews I could do instead.

As for Once Upon a Weinmeister, I still hope to finish Welcome to Kareena on time (in early January). Whether or not I actually pull this off remains to be seen. I plan on finishing it regardless, so I most likely won’t move onto a new story series until Welcome to Kareena is done. I have several ideas for future story series, so I’m going to share them below. Let me know in the comments which ones you’re interested in and why, and if you have suggestions for those stories or other ones, please share. In terms of scheduling, I will be dropping to one story a week after Welcome to Kareena concludes. I haven’t decided between Monday and Friday for these posts. If you have a preference, let me know.

The first idea is another Kareena Universe story. I don’t plan on doing this one immediately after Welcome to Kareena because I want to alternate between the Kareena Universe and other stories. However, I do want to share this one at some point next year. One of the main characters in my novels is an anthropologist (he studies other cultures). I would like to write a series of stories detailing his adventures as he explores other planets. Telling his story would also help me flesh out some key background information about both himself and the antagonist of my novel. This story series would contain a few spoilers for my books, but I think they’re worth sharing to tell his story. This character is one of my favorites, so I’m really excited to focus on his story for once and provide a sort of prequel for my book series. Working title: The Anthropologist. I know, it’s exciting. That’s why it’s a working title.

The next idea I had is one I briefly mentioned in a previous post. I’ve been toying around with the idea of writing a creative non-fiction series about my adventures in archaeology. I have experience mostly in the Four Corners region of the United States. I grew up visiting a site that my family owns (the same one I’m researching now). I’ve done summer camps through the same organization I interned for this summer. But I think the most exciting adventure I’ve had was my field school in Belize. I lived in a tent in the jungle for a month while excavating a Maya site. This is one where I could write a series of stories about one adventure (for example, the field school) and then write another series later that details a different adventure (like a summer camp). Working title: Adventures in Archaeology.

The next one is a title I thought of when I was in middle school: Thirteen Recipes for Trouble. I picture the story starting with an ingredient list (for example: one night of sneaking out, a spooky forest, one flashlight with almost-dead batteries, a full moon, three werewolf howls, two shots of courage, etc.) and maybe some instructions, and then I’d write a story that includes all of the ingredients. I’m not sure what tone I want to use for these yet. They have the potential to be very dark (and would likely require a lot of trigger warnings), but they could also be more humorous and light-hearted (like Goosebumps). One of the recipes will definitely be for revenge because The Count of Monte Cristo made me love revenge stories. Let me know if you have a preference on the tone.

The final idea is a time travel story. This one would involve someone who voluntarily chooses to travel to the past to live a simpler life, but something goes wrong and she ends up in the wrong time period. I see this being a multi-part series. The first series would involve her trying to fit into the time period she’s now in (I’m thinking 1830s East Coast America) while also trying to find a way to time travel to her intended time period. The second series would involve her adventures after she either travels to the correct time period or fails/chooses to stay in the 1830s (I know what the ending is, but I don’t want to spoil it.) I’ve always wanted to write a story about a particular period of history (again, I can’t share because of spoilers), and this story would give me the opportunity to do that. Working title: Untitled Time Travel Story. This title’s great, right? I’m definitely keeping it.

Those are my thoughts for next year’s posts. Please share your thoughts in the comments if you have any suggestions or preferences for the content and/or schedule.

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