january to april

11:42 PM


Hello! So here is my first wrap up post for 2017, and basically the entire blog. I’m documenting each month in a separate paragraph, as well as a few pictures. At the end of the wrap-up I also have separate categories for my reading and writing progress.


Nothing much happened in January aside from New Year celebrations and the best reading month so far. I read 8 books this month, the most that I have in 2017. 


I watched Wicked! The production came to the country and I watched it on it’s second (or was it third?) official day, which was an unexpected insane blast. I also attended a national science competition for four entire days. We took home a few awards, which was awesome. I read 5 books, which wasn’t a bad number, I guess, considering the hectic schedule I had. I also started this blog!!


Summer finally kicked in! I read 4 books, the most disappointing reading month by far — but hey, I had exams to study for. (This is me. Making excuses about my reading. Again.) I watched another musical, this time Fun Home! Definitely a heavy story but overall a memorable, heart-wrenching one that contrasted greatly to the brilliant extravaganza of Wicked. Towards the end of this month, I started my trip to the States.


So: the States. I took loads of photos to share on the blog, which basically should sum up my entire trip! Basically I visited San Francisco, Santa Cruz and San Jose, Yosemite, Kanab (aka ‘Little Hollywood’! Fun fact: Many great Westerns like The Lone Ranger were filmed in Kanab, Utah), and Las Vegas.

A couple of highlights:

  • Alcatraz in San Francisco
  • Visiting the Winchester Mystery House
  • Seeing a real-live boardwalk in Santa Cruz
  • Hiking in Kanab



And, mini-story time! So I was in Santa Cruz at the local bookstore and learned THE Cinda Williams Chima would be having a book signing event in the store in a few days. Since I would leave Santa Cruz in a day and wouldn’t get to go to the event, I did the next best thing: I bought two of Cinda’s books in the bookstore, and asked if they could make Cinda sign it, then ship it to me!


When I recieved it, okay I’ll be 110% honest, I cried. Because LOOK. AT. THE. BEAUTY.






I read a total of 25 books. I’m hoping to reach 30 by the end of May.



Standouts: 

The Cresswell Plot, The Graces, The Winner’s Kiss, The Bone Witch, Whisper to Me, and The Lost Girl of Astor Street

Disappointments (to put it mildly): 

The Accident Season, A Drop of Night, Dear Killer, Ice Like Fire, Kiss of Deception, Wink, Poppy, Midnight, and The Women in the Walls


I wrote two posts for the amazing Youer than You blog! Check them out here:



I also wrote two posts for the fantastic Burning Youth blog. Links down below:



And I guest posted in the GoTeenWriters blog. I’d always wanted to share a post of my own in the blog ever since I started reading it, which was way back in 2015, so it was pretty great that I finally did! Click:



As for my own writing, I did get to start learning how to write seriously for this blog, and I already have a plot outline for a story that I’m currently first drafting. Progress is slow, but it’s still progress!

Overall, the first four months was a huge ride worthy for Disneyland. Think the Matterhorn plus the Alice in Wonderland Tea Cup ride. Throw in the Haunted Mansion and that Indiana Jones ride that I love screaming in. Mild (okay, major) stress, a couple punches for productivity, ups and downs with my writing, and lots of researching about Hamilton and hamsters and time zones and don’t ask me why, thanks.


Be sure to tell me how the past few months have been for you!

- Andrea <3

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18 comments

  1. Awesome pictures! I've always wanted to visit Alcatraz, with its complex history and all. Did you enjoy exploring it? Also, congrats on your writing progress! You've had a super productive few months, it sounds like, which is always an amazing feeling to have. Any hints for me on what your story is about? I'd love to know!

    Also, you liked the Winner's Kiss! I LOVE that book!!! Did the ending please you? <3

    http://melissagravitis.blogspot.com

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    1. Alcatraz was amazing! To tour we had these headsets and it was narrated by some of the actual inmates and the correctional officers, which made it so much more interesting.

      Oooh okay, so my story is a YA paranormal / supernatural. Basically it's the TV show The Returned / Les Revenants meets the book The Diviners.

      The Winner's Trilogy is probably the best trilogy I have read this year! The Winner's Curse was kind of boring for me, but once I read Crime I couldn't go back. THE ENDING. MY SOUL. ARIN AND KESTREL. It was utter perfection, one of the best endings ever that made me scream with happiness for both of them.

      Thanks for commenting Melissa!

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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  2. Awesome post!! I also love those photos, and YAY for seeing Wicked! I love musicals :)
    Hope you have a fantastic May <3

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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    1. Thank you Amy! Wicked was great -- and I might watch The Sound of Music later this year.

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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  3. this was such a cool post!! seems like you've had a packed few months :) Alcatraz seems so interesting and i would love to go someday!
    i can't even believe that it's almost may!

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    1. Thank you!! Alcatraz was definitely the highlight of my trip :) Same, Madeline. I'm at the crossroads of feeling that I've done so much and at the same time feel like I don't want 2017 to end!

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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  4. How is it almost Mayyyyy??? AHHH.
    Nice roadtrip! And also, how does everyone but me have so much time for reading?? Ugh.

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    1. I HAVE NO IDEA YOU TELL ME, EMILY!

      Thanks! It was really fun -- and the long trip meant lots of reading time! Hope you find more time for yourself <3

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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  5. Great post! Sounds like this year has been a blast for you so far!!

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    1. Thank you Gray! It's been great :) I hope your year is amazing too!

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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  6. YOU WENT TO YOSEMITE?!?! OMW that's amazing! I don't live too far from it, but there's like thirty feet of snow by the entrance nearest to me. I literally jumped in my seat when I saw your pictures, bc I've always wanted to see it in the winter. Isn't it epic!?!?

    Sounds like you've had a great few months! I can't believe how fast the year is going by :P

    I hope your reading/writing go well in May!

    audrey caylin

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    1. AHHH YES! Yosemite was so surreal after seeing it in just pictures for years :) And yes, I was able to see snow, and it was really cold in some parts of the park!

      Same to you, Audrey! It's almost halfway through the year and I am freaking out.

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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  7. The photos are lovely - it looks like you had an amazing trip! I hope it inspired and refreshed you creatively. :)

    Nice to see your first wrap-up post, Andrea! (but why WERE you researching hamsters??)

    Jem Jones

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    1. Thank you Jem! The sights did spark my interest to start writing :)

      (I decided I wanted a pet for myself?! And I'm not a dog / cat / fish person so I decided to intensely research hamsters and guinea pigs... let's just say I know a lot now, though it doesn't look like I'll be having a pet hamster anytime soon! I have learned animals are expensive, haha)

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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    2. Oh, and I've just tagged you for the Writers' Tag over here, just if you want to, of course.

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  8. AHH YOU SAW WICKED??? Dude that's so exciting! I've been so curious about that play - is it something that would make sense if you were just to listen to the soundtrack? I'm assuming so... but just thought I'd ask anyways. :P

    And omg the haunted mansion. I was ...eight...(I think???) when I first rode in that, and I SOBBED. I'm apparently a little scaredy cat and couldn't stand the creepiness. (though I don't think it was that creepy? :P)

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. YES! I splurged on my Christmas money to watch it <3 Here's the thing: I never really appreciated the soundtrack until I watched it! However, if you're observant enough I'm pretty sure you can piece the story of Wicked down by listening to the soundtrack. You can read the books too, of course!

      AAAH THE HAUNTED MANSION! It's one of my favorite Disney rides. It is kind of unsettling, especially if you read the theories about the end of the ride (it says you're supposedly dead and invited to join them in the mansion). Oh and fun fact? The organs in The Haunted Mansion ride were modeled after the organ in the Winchester house which I visited ?!?!

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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  9. Guess what? You got tagged again! I tagged you for the Liebster Award.

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Hey, amazing human being. Thank you so much for commenting! Be sure to check back for my reply <3