2015 Recap, and Pre-NaNoWriMo Update

Well, it’s been a while since I was here. Did anyone miss me?

It’s been a year and a few months since I last updated here. I post to Twitter very occasionally and have started avidly updating my Fan Fictions again. I didn’t manage to stick with the Flash Fiction challenge for more than the first few weeks last year. What did I do all year? Here’s a recap:

Well, not long before my last update, my (then) fiancé and I started a business together, which has now grown to a couple of dozen employees in the last year and a half after starting out with just the pair of us. It made for some long day days, but it’s been an amazing year and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m doing all sorts of things I never imagined I could do before, in so many ways. I feel more capable and more confident in myself and I can’t imagine not having taken this path. In other life news, we were married this October. I’m sure it sounds like a cliche, but it was absolutely magical. After the wedding, we escaped off to the Galapagos and Peru. Photos absolutely don’t do Machu Picchu justice. All I can really say is that this was an amazing experience, and that of course I’ll share photos of adorable sea lions and giant tortoises.

I don't know how closely related to cats sea lions are (aside from the fact that they're both mammals, but really, look at that attitude. Total cat.

I don’t know how closely related to cats sea lions are (aside from the fact that they’re both mammals, but really, look at that attitude. Total cat.

And watch his brother on the next island curl up, totally cat-like.

Sea Lion curled up like a cat Sea lion hiding his face

I think one of the things I liked about the yellow warbler was that he was easy to spot and recognize.

Yellow Warbler, Santiago/James Island

Yellow Warbler, Santiago/James Island

Just to put it in prospective, this lava flow wasn’t on this island when Darwin came for a visit. It’s younger than Darwin.

The black lava is flow is about 135 years old. The red is from a lava flow 1000 years old. The iron has oxidized and once it's broken down, it becomes very fertile soil. Give it another few hundred years.

The black lava is flow is about 135 years old. The red is from a lava flow 1000 years old. The iron has oxidized and once it’s broken down, it becomes very fertile soil. Give it another few hundred years.

Giant Domed Tortoise

The pictures really do a poor job giving you the scale of these tortoises. You’re not allowed to go within 8 feet of any of the wild animals. Admittedly, sea lions frequently decided our path was the best place to nap and we’d have to edge around them. Most of the tortoises we saw were about 3 feet by 4 feet and weighed a whopping 400 or 500 pounds.

Pictures don't do it justice.

Pictures don’t do it justice.

I could go on about Machu Picchu for a while if anyone is interested–I was absolutely blown away. I’d also take suggestions on reading about the Pre-Inca cultures in the region if anyone has any suggestions.

The blue footed booby and pelican in this picture are just hanging out. As long as animals don't compete over the same food, they don't seem to get too territorial here. We frequently saw marine iguanas, sea lions, boobies, and pelicans sharing a rock together.

The blue footed booby and pelican in this picture are just hanging out. As long as animals don’t compete over the same food, they don’t seem to get too territorial here. We frequently saw marine iguanas, sea lions, boobies, and pelicans sharing a rock together.

Marine iguanas have longer tails than their land cousins and can slow down their heart rate when they dive down to feed on algae below water. Unfortunately, El Niño is taking it's toll on these creatures as the water temperature isn't right for the algae they feed on.

Marine iguanas have longer tails than their land cousins and can slow down their heart rate when they dive down to feed on algae below water. Unfortunately, El Niño is taking it’s toll on these creatures as the water temperature isn’t right for the algae they feed on.

Last November, I couldn’t fathom the possibility of even trying to do NaNoWriMo. There weren’t enough hours in the day. This was a stark contrast to 2013, when I wrote 50K on a novel and about 25K of fan fiction during November. I’m excited to feel like this year, there might actually be enough hours in the day to attempt it. And even better? While we were away on honeymoon, I actually came up with a story idea I’m exceptionally excited about. It’s been a long time since I was excited about a story idea other than fan fiction.

Admittedly, I do also still adore writing fan fiction. I’m working on my second Dramione story at the moment, in which Draco loses his magic for a year as punishment for his war crimes. In February this year, I finished Law and Marriage, which was my first Dramione story, and ended up being 400-odd pages.

I haven’t done much in the way of big cooking projects this year, so there haven’t been any new YouTube videos on my channel in quite a while. Generally by the time I got home, I was ready for something quick and easy–which is a shame when I don’t like most frozen foods. I did discover an amazing company in upstate New York that makes authentic British meat pies of various sorts. I absolutely love them, and it was so good this year to be able to put a pie in the oven when we got home late and have half an hour to sit and rest my feet rather than half an hour of standing and chopping at the stovetop. I don’t know why meat pies aren’t more of a thing in the US. Absolutely delicious. I am hoping to try out some new recipes this year and will gladly take suggestions.

I’m also hoping that now that I’m not doing hands on screwdriver work during the day, I’ve got my wrists and hands back in good shape for working on sewing and crocheting projects this year.

Let me know if you want to see more pictures from my trip–I have plenty, and tried to restrain myself in posting tonight. I love my life and am enormously happy right now, and am excited to face on the NaNoWriMo challenge this month.

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