Sometimes it's hard to remember, but I'm going to do it.
Here are five *new* wonderful things about this rainy month.
1. Boba Tea
Despite being told my reputable sources about how awesome boba tea is, I've finally had one. And, of course, my friends don't lie.
A brand-new coffee shop opened up nearby called Brew House - so new that they didn't have all their cupcakes in the display case... and they don't have a website yet. It's a little out of the way, so my mom and I made sure to include it in our errand run this morning. The shop is cute, with plenty of room for writing novels on napkins or staring at the new hospital across the street. The girl working there was very friendly and gave us an explanation (and samples!) of what boba is. Basically, boba are little round jelly balls filled with fruit juice. It's like biting into a grape. A strong splash of flavor hits you when you eat one and the combination with sweet tea works.
I ordered mango iced tea with strawberry boba pearls. Brew House didn't have all the flavors yet, so I'll have to come back to try their lychee flavor! As you can see from the third picture, I wasn't very good at evenly eating the pearls and drinking - but having so many at the bottom of my cup was a treat!
2. Used Books
Nothing's better than finding good books - books that have had many lives, with bent pages and wounded spines. I came home with four news books that I never would have been able to resist. I love anything about the World's Fair, so Ticket for Tomorrow by Carol Cox sounded exciting.
I almost rubbed my eyes in disbelief when I stumbled upon A Swiftly Tilting Planet because it has a gorgeous cover, one of the new reprints I've gawked at in the bookstore plenty of times. My other L'Engle books date back to the 1960s, with super cheesy, yet appealing covers.
Getting another Neil Gaiman book was, well, totally great because I have not read enough of his work (Neverwhere, Coraline, Stardust, the Sandman comics, and a handful of his short stories. I need more!).
My doggie. She threw out her back last month. In the past week or so, she's returned to her usual spunk and I'm so thankful to see her back in action!
4. Voting in the Lays Do Us a Flavor Contest
Ever since this darn choose-the-next-Lays-flavor contest started, I've had a hard time finding all three flavors to try, let alone deciding on where to cast my vote. Apparently, Florida is apathetic about the contest, so I hadn't been able to find the chips until recently, thanks to my friends.
I've also delayed writing my verdict because it was so hard to figure out which one was my favorite. Thus, I'm happy that I finally figured it out in April, haha!
Chicken & Waffles: I really wanted to like this flavor because it was weird. But it doesn't work for me. I tasted way too much grease and not enough, well, chicken. Or waffle. I dunno. I've never had chicken and waffles, so maybe, if I'd eaten it before, I would have acquired that taste and fully enjoyed the chip version.
Sriracha: Not a fan of spicy flavors, especially not chips. I don't like the idea of having to carry water with me when eating such a casual snack. However, if you ignore the burn, the flavor's actually quite tasty!
Cheesy Garlic Bread: After much deliberation, I have to say that the garlic bread flavor was my favorite out of the three. It's the only one I can eat without feeling sick afterward (that's a good sign, right?). It's not the most creative flavor out of the three, but you can taste the varying flavors of the cheese and garlic, making it different from the garlic-based chips already out.
Thank you Jenn and Allison for sending me chips. Without you, I'd still be dithering over not getting to cast my vote and suffering from unsatisfied curiosity (ugh, can you imagine? O_O).
But in all honesty, I would have really loved prawn-flavored chips. When I studied abroad in England, I tried so many different kinds and they were all delicious. A much better flavor than these three, gotta say.
5. Progressing in My CampNaNo Project
Yep. That's happening. Just as I hoped, my sea legs are coming back in terms of writing. I've been typing away, sometimes so focused that only the screeching beep of the washer / dryer can wake me from my stupor.
I've been getting to know the characters in Stella quite well, but it improves every day. I'll be driving to school and suddenly, after stopping at a light, I'll think, "Oh my gosh! I know what Wyatt's secret is!"
And then I'll dash to my office and write it down on the scrap of an old newsletter.
The character I'm most comfortable with is Layla. I've been enjoying working with her because, in a lot of ways, we're going through the same struggles. However, she's so much snappier than me - it's an utter delight to write her sparring matches with the other characters.
One of the least developed areas of my project had been the fireplace world (coming up in the next chapter officially, I believe). It was kind of hazy in my mind. I wasn't sure if I was going to take the reader there or not. But it's been building steadily. The chimney-palace is being built, brick by brick, and the forests are twisting with endless lanterns. And after finally getting around to watching Bryan Fuller's Hannibal, I now have a mental image of the fireplace king - and boy, does that put some puzzle pieces together.
I can't wait to go there in the story. I'm typing at a brisk pace, knowing that the ending is approaching, no matter how many miles away. It's a good feeling.
6. BONUS. Imminent Graduation!