A Long Winter’s Nap

Good morning, dear Reader! Whew. July just blasted right on by, didn’t it? I hope you enjoyed all the doings over here as much as I did! I thought I’d do a June/July -Ishness post, since I didn’t really do one for June. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, but in a very good way.

Ishness is a meme created by Deborah over at Road of a Writer as a monthly recap on what one has filled the previous month with.


I wrote 11,549 words as I finished writing the rough draft of Mantles of Oak and Iron, the second book in the Turrim Archive.

To date I have finished editing 14 chapters of Minstrel’s Call. Out of 50 total. It’s going a bit more slowly than I was hoping, but there has been a lot of rearranging and restructuring… which has necessitated some re-writing of scenes from the ground up. I have written approximately 6,000 new words, but I have also cut about 7,000 old words… which means that overall the book is already a tiny bit shorter than it was, despite all the new material. Also… I don’t even know how many words I’ve written in emails and blog posts the past two months… but it was a lot!


STILL working my way through The Aeronaut’s Windlass. How embarrassing! Truly, I am loving the book. And usually I am a very fast reader. But you can only get so far when your reading time is contained to 15 minute increments and sometimes days go by between those reading spaces.

I did finish reading More Stories From Grandma’s Attic out loud to the kids, and we’ve since started up the second Boxcar Children book.

I also re-read a bunch of The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion while creating the poem for the Scavenger Hunt as well as my post for the Most Nefarious Villain presentation. I think I need to do a serious re-read soon.


NCIS season 14. This would be the main reason I haven’t had time to read… the latest season came available on Netflix, and we had to go back and hang out with our crime-solving besties!

Also Blue Bloods season 7. We do enjoy crime shows around here.

I watched Miracle a few weeks ago, because while writing up the Favorite Family Films feature for it, I remembered how much I love that movie, and just felt like it was high time I re-watched it.

We wanted to get to see the new Spiderman, but haven’t gotten to it yet. NOBODY TELL ME ANYTHING!

Cubs baseball! My husband managed to snag a deal to get the entire rest of the season of MLB TV for just TEN DOLLARS back in June, so we’ve been getting to watch baseball again, which is fantastic.


You might have noticed it’s been a bit busy around here in the past month. Well, the second annual Silmarillion Awards came back around, and it was an absolute blast! Thanks so much to everyone who participated, read, commented, shared, voted, donated prizes, and otherwise cheered us on in our epic endeavor! Without you, these awards wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. Also, a special thanks to the nine amazing bloggers who joined me on this adventure! Thank you for your creativity, your helpful thoughts and ideas, and just for being part of this year’s “fellowship”!

Thanks to the Awards, July was this little blog’s BEST month ever with both the most overall views and the highest average per-day views! I am overwhelmed by the response and thrilled to have met so many fellow Tolkien-fans!

In case you missed it, here is the list of awards that were presented this year.

Wisest Councillor

Least Competent Henchman

Most Silver-Tongued

Most Epic Hero

Strangest Character

Most Epic Heroine

Most Mischievous Imp

Most Magnificent Dragon

Most Faithful Friend

Most Nefarious Villain

We are very much looking forward to hosting this fun event again next year! Put it on your calendars!


Swim lessons, science curriculum, visits to the library, picnics in the park, observing baby robins in the bushes outside our door hatch from their eggs and grow and leave the nest, bike rides, playgrounds, swimming, sprinklers, popsicles… these are the things that have made up the majority of our summer.

We also got to take a nice trip down to Chicago-land last week and see numerous friends and family while at the Dupage County Fair where my sister was performing! It was super fun to hang out with cousins and see friends from high school. It was also nice to get some of my favorite pizza (Pal Joey’s, deep dish, ham and pineapple… if you’re ever near Wheaton, IL, you really need to stop and get some!) and have Portillo’s. We also went and walked through my old high school… which has grown and changed a lot… but then, so have I. Ah, nostalgia and memory lane: nice places to hang out. But it was also nice to come home.

And that’s about all I can think of, dear Reader! I hope you’ve had a lovely summer. I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted. And I really need to buckle down on editing Minstrel’s Call… so I think it will be slightly quieter around here through August… I’ll still be around, and I definitely plan to continue the Favorite Family Films features on Friday for the foreseeable future (oooh! You have to admit that was pretty phenomenal alliteration… right?!) but it will definitely be quieter around the blog for a bit.

I would love to hear about your summer adventures!

~ jenelle



:) I appreciate your restraint! I so very badly want to see it, but July was SO crazy busy we just didn’t get around to it. I’m hoping August can be a bit more relaxing. Spidey is my favorite.

Thanks! I really enjoy editing, actually. This particular project just feels a bit overwhelming because it is such a massive job. I need to learn how to write shorter books. :)

Deborah O'Carroll

Yay for Ishness! Working on mine as we speak. XD (Also for June/July… We should just call it Junely.)

Congrats on the writing and editing! How exciting! :D Best wishes on the rest of the editing moving forward… I know it feels daunting and long, but remember, it’s a final book in an epic fantasy series, so of COURSE it needs to be long to wrap everything up and contain all the epic! :D

I know how that is being in one book for a long time… Halayda was like that for me. :P I was reading bits of LOTR too! Still working on my Silmarillion reread and it’s SO FUN. <3

I was so excited about how we had so many different books represented in the SilmAwards winners this year! Can't wait for next time! :)

Wow, sounds like some busy time! OOH, BABY BIRDS!! We have barn swallows we've been watching grow up on our porch. I call them porch swallows. :P ADORBZ. <3

I'll be somewhat quieter online myself. YOU CAN DO IT ON THE EDITS. GO GO GO!!! Enjoyed reading your update — thanks for sharing, and have a blessed August! ^_^


Junely. I like it. I sort of feel like I should just combine lots of summer things. Like Nightstand books… it’s just gonna take me all summer… and I’m going to be absolutely certain that I will be able to read way more books than I ever could ACTUALLY read in a single summer.

Thank you! I feel a lot like Dory, “Just keep editing. Just keep editing. Edit edit edit…” hahaha. But in a good way. If I can get into a rhythm, everything goes better. It’s when I have to take weeks off for LIFE and things that I start to feel a bit more overwhelmed. But… I mean… life is good. Having one, I mean. Keeps me from turning into a cave troll… :-D

I was so excited that so many characters from different series and stories won this year, too!

Awww, porch swallows! I will have to post the pictures I took of the baby birds. It has nothing to do with fantasy… but it does display the amazing imagination of our God, that He created such things. :)

Thanks for your encouragement! I really appreciate it!

Abbey Stellingwerff

My, you HAVE been busy! I’m impressed with all the writing you have been doing, both on the blog and in your books!
The crime shows you’ve been watching sound much better than the crime shows I’ve been “watching.” There are a few guys at work who like to watch real-life murder mysterious on TV in the break room. Talk about disturbing. I’ve heard lots of good things about Blue Bloods. You gotta love Tom Selleck.
That deep dish pizza sounds amazing. And you alliteration was A+! I can’t wait to see what other movies you have to blog about!



Ooh, that does not sound like fun at all. I watched a show many years back called “Unsolved Mysteries” or something like that with my babysitter and it still gives me nightmares at times.

Blue Bloods is really good. We only discovered it a couple of years ago, but I really enjoy it. Tom Selleck is spectacular. Also, Donnie Wahlburg is amazing! Much better actor than his brother.

Thanks! Chicago-style pizza is my favorite!


I love hearing from you, dear Reader!