Summer as an Adult!

Hello Firecrackers,

Welcome to July. I must say summer has been quite exciting. I hope all of you are practicing safety measures to keep yourselves free of sunburns and drowning-related incidents. While I recognize many of you are probably sitting on a beach somewhere, or perhaps youíre sitting in an office or behind a counter serving sweaty people fast food periodically, I thought Iíd occupy you with a little blog time. So letís get writing.

The Personal Stuff

What have I been up to this summer? Well, I havenít left the state yet, but Iíve gone to plenty of exciting places, including restaurants Iíve never been to beforeóspecifically Gettemeier's and Show-Meís (which are bar/grill type places) and the 28/65 Brewhouse, and the St. Louis Zoo (which was voted one of the best zoos in the world by the way). If you live in St. Louis, Iím sure youíve been to the zoo, but odds are unless you live around Florissant, you havenít visited the bar/grill places, and the Brewhouse is in St. Charles. Locals should definitely go check all of those places out. I give all of them a 10/10 review. I can give out recommendations for menu options if youíd like too. Just ask! I also have been all over the city seeing Disney/Pixarís Cars 3 with the family. The family saw it once out in Creve Coeur and once in Hazelwood. My sister has seen it five times, and sheís shooting for a sixth. It is her favorite animated movie after all. I have to say itís pretty goodóalmost as good as the first one, and much better than the second one. If you havenít seen it yet, go find a theater. This is a movie worth paying insane amounts of money to go see, obviously. Kachow!

Aside from city adventures, Iíve been working with my university to get enrolled in graduate school, which finally happened this week. Iíve been applying for scholarships off of this website called FastWeb trying to find tuition funding before the first of August. Keeping my fingers crossed! If youíre a college student of any type, you should check out FastWeb. They offer scholarships that are specific to your profile, and theyíre really easy to apply for. Iím loving it. Iíve already applied for six or seven scholarships off of their site.

The family has also been quite busy. Since May, we have had my graduation, my sisterís birthday, Motherís Day, Memorial Day, Fatherís Day, and now Independence Day. My oldest nephew turns nine today (July 6), and we are awaiting his arrival as Iím writing this. Hard to believe this wicked smart little dude is almost middle-school age. In addition, we received news that my middle brother and his fiancť are having a little girl! That means Iíll be having my very first niece, and you guys have no idea how exciting that is. As much as I hate to dress up, I canít wait to buy clothes to dress her up in. I love shopping for baby clothes, especially in the girlís department, and now I have the perfect excuse to actually buy some of the cute little dresses. We canít wait to meet Vera Lyn! Now we have to tackle a convention for my momís Young Living Essential Oils business, my dadís birthday, his vacation week (hoping for some cool adventures then), and my oldest brotherís birthday, in addition to concerts and small house parties, all coming between this weekend and the end of August.

Obviously, while fun and exciting, summer has not quite been the relaxing do-nothing experience that I intended. I donít think I mind though. Being my last summer off, Iím kind of glad things are happening. Though hopefully I get a little time off to lie around and do nothing but read/sleep. :)

The Professional Stuff

Iím afraid to say Iím a little lacking in this department, and this time I really donít have any excuses. The novel is still being edited in the second section. Iím working out some plot holes and adjusting some of the side characters. Iíve been doing some research on how to properly craft various types of scenes in this section: romance without erotica, action without gore, just to name a few. I also need to adjust some setting errors and add some scenes and characters that I didnít realize I needed until shortly after I graduated back in May. Needless to say, Iím a little overwhelmed, and when that happens, the process slows down. I donít think Iíll be making my end-of-summer deadline.

Book two is in the outlining stage, howeveróthough it is loose. I am currently working to draft characters and concepts that will make just as exciting but perhaps more dramatic than the first one. I donít have much to say about it other than it ought to throw readers of the first book for a loop. But before I can start to write it, I need to finish the first one, so letís not go there just yet.

Iím looking to submit again for the Writers of the Future contest for the September deadline, not just for the scholarship opportunity but because they invited me to submit again after I won an honorable mention back in March. Iím currently mulling over a story concept for Ezra right now that I will hopefully finish in time to submit.

Iím also getting ready to write two other short stories in the realistic fiction genre that are based around things Iíve experienced this summer. One is centered on a baby Grackle (a local bird) that I found and named, and that died shortly thereafter because of the heat. His name was Arthur, and his parents (though following species protocol) were horrible, and I gave him a proper burial in my backyard. The other is based on an idea that went through my mind as I was draining the little pool we put up for the kids in the yard as a storm was rolling in. As they are written, theyíll both be uploaded to the site, so check back regularly. Donít let me forget. Hound me if you must.

Ah, the birthday boy as arrived, so I must be going now. I hope you guys continue to come back here for more updates. If thereís anything you want me to write about, just let me know. Iíd love to take requests.

Before I go, if any of you are writers and want some worksheet stuff to help you brainstorm, Iíd love to give a shout out to Eva Deverell, as sheís called on her Creative Writing Blog. If you sign up for her Coterie, you get access to all kinds of worksheets and author help sheets that keep you moving. She also has resources for readers, bloggers, and poets. If youíre a writer, you need to check out this website! I havenít had the pleasure of personally communicating with Ms. Deverell, but her Coterie, Pinterest, and emails have been of great help to me this month, and on the off-chance she sees my website on my Pinterest account, I want her to know how grateful I am for all of her resources and advice! Thanks, LadyWriter! I will list the link to her website here:

See you all next month!

Best regards and a package of bottle rockets,

Kat Jenning // Shade Shadows

**Song of the Month: This is Gospel -- Panic! At the Disco**

**Iíve been in love with this version of Panic! At the Discoís This is Gospel for the last few weeks. Check out this beautiful and unique video!**

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