So apparently January is over and February is here. (Um, what?)
Usually I don’t do monthly wrap-up posts. I don’t have a reason, really. I get distracted by other post subjects to write? I’m too lazy to actually remember what happened during the month? *shrugs* But I know it’s a pretty big trend right now, and I actually love reading other people’s monthly summaries, getting a glimpse into all my buddies’ lives and goings-on. So I thought, why not? I seriously doubt this’ll be a habit. But today I just felt like writing a wrap-up post, and usually this blog consists of a jumble of posts I feel like typing at the time. (I’m organized like that.) So here we are. A January wrap-up.
January started out with the promise of new adventures, a fresh slate to scribble a whole new year of life on. After all, what’s more exciting than that single date: January 1st. Full of hopeful promises.
Usually I start out the year with a written list of goals to work toward in the coming 12 months. But this year, for the first time in many, I didn’t make a list. Instead I simply decided to FOCUS. To focus on my God. To look to Jesus to guide me instead of a piece of paper and pencil markings.
January is both an exciting and sad time. After all the thrills of Christmas and New Year’s, regular life begins to take over. A few days into January my dad went back to work after his Christmas break. I also returned to my job at the little bookshop. Slowly, the reprieve the Christmas season provides faded into normal life. But I didn’t mind so much. I was looking forward to ending my writing break I took for December and I adore my job at the bookshop.
2016 had begun.
The first week of January started off a little slow as we settled back into the regular routine. It was not until the second week would I say things really started to pick up and work and life turned into a whirlwind.
The highlight of the month was the third week in which I spent the entire week out of town with my best friend (as mentioned in the last post). Lots of pizza and fun was had! (Obviously pizza gets its own mention.) We spent much of the time cataloguing almost all her 400+ books on GoodReads. (I insisted a while back she get a GoodReads account and, like a good friend, helped her out adding all her books there. I’m also a geek and have way, way too much fun cataloguing books on the site.)
Just a small peek of the many, many stacks of books we had scattered all over her room.
We also got a day of snow, which was THRILLING. Snow is a rarity in my neck of the woods.
(I know, all you northerners are laughing at my excitement over a single day of a little snow.)
Once I returned, I had a bit of a hard time adjusting back to regular life. But, as they say, life goes on. And this week has kept me busy with work and catching up on all the many, many things that got behind during my time away. I also got to see my other best friend one evening and had a wonderful time chatting with her over pizza. (I have an obsession, okay?)
January was going to be the big writing comeback after a good break in December. But. . .life happened and, sadly, barely a thing writerly happened.
The plan was to do a speedy read-through of Burning Thorns and then dive right into deep editing. Instead I spent almost the whole month sloooowly reading the book and only just finished a couple days ago. Pathetic. I did take notes while reading though, so at least that part’s done and I can start the actual editing process. Still, I had meant to be much farther along than this by now. But with a busy month and being gone an entire week of it, I just haven’t found the time.
Motivation is also being slippery and hiding from me. Whenever I go a while without writing, it takes me a bit to get back into the habit. Since I took a month-long break, I can’t seem to settle into things again. Life has just been too distracting. My motivation is fragile and persnickety and insists it have the perfect circumstances to cooperate. Psh. It’s so high maintenance. Nothing is going to get done until I just sit down and DO it. Once I start, my motivation begins to show its face. I just gotta do it.
So, with that said, I apologize to all my beta-readers. I know I said I’d start sending out chapters by January, but obviously that didn’t happen. This month I’m going to start it though! Burning Thorns is going to get edited if it kills me! (Which it may, but that’s just part of being a writer. *shrugs*) BUT I don’t want to rush it. I want to edit well, which may mean slow. I have no other writing projects to work toward until NaNoWriMo, so I’ve got almost the whole year to work on this thing. I don’t want to be too hard on myself to the point I become overworked or rush to “get it done” and not do a good job (I’m bad about doing that). I’m giving BT the time it deserves, so chapters may be slow in coming. They will come though! Hopefully soon.
I opened up my 2016 blogging year with the word I chose to live the year by.
Dear You was a letter to YOU. The beautiful you.
January’s posts was wrapped up with a discussion on that yearning in your heart for something better. After all, we’re merely passing through.
I also gained a few more followers this month. I’m so grateful to every single one of you. I mean, you put up with all my silly ramblings and nonsense. That is deserving of cookies! *passes cookies around*
I read a total of. . .3 books this month. I know. Some of you awesome people knock out like 20 books a month. Can I go back to the excuse that life was busy? But I was also reading through my own book and a couple things from other people. So I guess I read 3 published books and a couple of other little things.
Whoa. This book. I adored Heather Dixon’s Entwined, so when I heard she was making a steampunk book (steampunk, people!!!) and my brain twin, Deborah, fangirled muchly over it I knew I HAD to get myself this thing. It was not a disappointment!
This book was full of steampunk goodness, some deliciously snarky characters, and parallel universes which is ALWAYS a yes to me. It had practically everything I loved! It also had a surprising lack of romance, which is such a rarity in YA these days. And, though it was extremely creepy at times, the material stayed clean. Again, a rarity. It was definitely refreshing to read a secular YA book without it being bogged down by immoral material littering the pages.
My only complaint was the speedy pacing. I love a good, action-y book, but this one almost had too much. I would have liked some slowing down and deeper internal monologue. And maybe an explanation over a thing or two. But still, it was a fascinating read and unlike anything I’ve ever read. The perfect book to start 2016 out with! (And can we talk about that cover? *drools*)
4 out of 5 stars
I feel like my childhood was empty!!! I had never even heard of this book until Deborah so sweetly passed it my way. (She’s my book fairy, half of the awesome stuff I read is because of her.) What a wasted childhood! This book was PRECIOUS. It’s about the Minnipins, a group of tiny people who are a little too set on tradition and perfection.
The characters are completely and utterly loveable. Each very different, but fascinating in their own way. The writing has this charming, witty style that just sucks you right into the Minnipins little world. I could have stayed there forever.
If you’ve never read this book, go do so this instant. It’s just perfect.
5 out of 5 stars
Eh. . .this one. It was a completely fascinating read, unlike anything I’ve read before. But, sadly, it was littered in language. Like, serious language that should not be allowed in a teen book in my opinion.
The writing style was lyrical and beautiful. So different from any other book I’ve read. I really loved it. And the story itself totally entranced me. The ending was just. . .wow. It was a shocker and I’m still trying to recover from it. But, as I said, the language was atrocious. There were a couple of other things that bothered me as well, but the main thing was the language.
As interesting as the story was, I kind of wish I hadn’t read this one. Definitely not something I can recommend to anyone due to the material.
4 out of 5 stars
(it might have gotten a 5 out of me if it had been clean)
In conclusion. . .
January had a whole lot of thrilling days, with a few meh ones sprinkled in. But, overall, I’d say it was a pretty great first month to start 2016 in.
But now I’m looking to February which I’m dubbing “the month I actually start editing”. Regardless if my motivation has fled (but if someone finds it, could you send it my way?), I SHALL edit! And I think (think) I’ll have more time. My work schedule has shifted where I’ll be working more on the weekends which means I’ll have weekdays to focus on my writing life. I usually don’t write much during the weekends anyway, so I think this’ll work out great. (Sh. I’m naturally an optimistic person. Let me live in my delusions that everything will fall into place.)
February, here I come!
What about you, lovely reader? How was your January? Any exciting February plans? (If it really is February. I’m pretty sure we weren’t quite done with January yet.) And, important question here, what was your favorite book read of the month?