JANUARY WRAP UP — smol writing updates, Harry Potter, and other random life-ishness

good morning, cyberspace!

The first month of 2020 is over, and if I’m being completely honest, part of me feels like I was slightly jipped in the “New Year” department. On January 1st, I woke up with a cold. Then, just when I began to recover from that, I caught the flu.

Queue me sitting on the couch doing nothing for the next three days whilst feeling like death was about to come knocking on my door with his spindly, bony-white knuckles.

However, despite these minor setbacks in my health–which decidedly proved fatal to my productivity–the month of January was still, in it’s own strange, sick little way, a good month! So let’s talk about January!

JANUARY WRAP UP // books and Harry Potter and life-ishness

WRITING

First and foremost–since this IS a writing blog–we have the writings of January! Now, as I mentioned above, I was SICK this month, peasants. And since my nose is currently still a Santa’s bag of incalculable snot, I’m technically still in recovery mode. Because of this, I wasn’t half as productive as I had planned to be with my writing.

But it’s fine! I still got some writing done, and I’m actually pleased with the progress I did make, which is better than making tons of progress and not being pleased with it at all.

SCRIBBLE ONE . . . SK

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this on here or not recently, but my primary WIP as of right now is SK–my firecracker child who I love very dearly. everlost will forever be the book of my heart, of course, but this story has a peculiar knack for wriggling into your life and sticking there like a buggy little parasite, and for that, I love it.

Currently, my word count for this book is rather flimsy. Despite having worked on it for the entirety of 2019’s NaNoWriMo, I’m still very far from the finish line. I have about 12 chapters of it completed, and just recently I had an epiphany that–if I decide to follow through with it–will force me to go back and rewrite major chunks of the first act.

(and since I am very convinced that I will be following through with said epiphany, I am now preparing myself for redrafting.)

However, with that said, I still want to focus on forward momentum right now, which means instead of backtracking and rewriting the same chapters over and over again until I finally land on something that sticks, I’m going to be making a folder in my Scrivener file with a bullet point list of chapters and pivotal moments that need to change. This will be my first time actually using brackets and placeholders, though, so we’ll see how far I get before I buckle and go back and redraft everything.

(please place your bets in the comments below. my bet is this resolution will last less than a week. *throws cookies on table*)

In the meantime, I’m currently preparing myself for THE FRANK EXPERIMENT. I’ve been drafting on my laptop like crazy over the past couple days, hoping that by getting all my laptop writing out of the way, I’ll somehow be able to stick to my goal of writing with naught but a typewriter for the next month. In all honesty, I’m kinda scared. This could either be an amazing experience, or a crippling iron fist to my creativity. I’m leaning more towards the latter, personally.

Oh!! And my mom recently funded the experiment by buying me 500 PAGES of paper!!!!!! I am extremely excited about this, folks. This is a LOT of paper. . . *squeals*

SCRIBBLE TWO . . . EV

In other news, I’ve officially started sending EV out to beta readers*, and I am . . . subtly freaking out. Basically I’m good right up until I hit SEND on the actual chapters, and then I start screaming and flailing about in my room trying to turn the clocks back by three seconds, but it’s fine. I’m totally fine. It’s not like people are actually reading my smol trash gremlin or anything. . . *screaming intensifies*

* thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has expressed interest in reading EV!!! currently I’m trying to keep the beta reader list small (and by small I mean teeny teeny tiny), because this is my first time actually sending something of mine out into the great, unforgiving cyberspace to be critiqued, so the people I’ve been sending it to are extremely close friends, as well as readers and writers who write/read along the same genre as EV. BUT!!! if I end up having another beta round sometime (which, let’s be honest, is probably going to happen), I might broaden my scope and send it out to more readers/writers! (but for right now I’m screaming, so.)

BOOKS

I’ve also been reading this month, peasants! Believe it or not, being sick is extremely good for my reading life. When I’m sick and conked out on the couch, I find diving into a fictional world very conducive to escaping the horrors of real life for a little while. I even managed to read TWO BOOKS this month, which is kind of my smol goal for the year. Two books a month equals 24 books by the end of the year, and I would LOVE to read at least 20 books. (that’s what I’ve put as my Goodreads goal, anyway.)

I even managed to knock out a book for a reading challenge I’m participating in (the modern mrs. darcy reading challenge. you should check it out.), so that was fun.

. . . JANUARY READS . . .

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THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zuzak

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Actually, I loved the movie first, but the book was equally good–if not better, as most books typically are. It was a little long, and technically I started it back in 2019, but we’ll just ignore that for a moment and pretend like it’s a bright, shiny new read for the new year. (it also happened to be the first book I read for 2020, which bodes well for the rest of my reading year, no?)

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HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE by JK ROWLING

Now, I know JK Rowling is a bit of a controversial subject right now–what with her constantly changing things within the canon wizarding universe–BUT I JUST COULDN’T HELP MYSELF FROM REREADING THIS GLORIOUS NOVEL, OKAY??? Harry Potter is my CHILDHOOD, and just because the author can’t stop tweaking her stories doesn’t mean I can’t love the book I fell in love with in the first place.

There’s just something so . . . happy . . . about the Happy Harry Potter series for me. It reminds me of going to the library and picking up as many Harry Potter books as I could, hauling them home, and then proceeding to devour them all within the span of two days. Hogwarts truly is my home when it comes to my origin story of reading, and getting to relive that experience is a feeling I can’t even put into words.

. . . CURRENTLY READING . . .

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ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

So the beautiful Phoebe actually sent me an annotated !!! copy !!! of this book, and I am simply over the moon excited, peasants! As predicted, I much prefer reading this book in physical format, as opposed to ebook, which is how I tried reading it the first go around. And the fact that it’s been annotated by my absolutely wonderful friend just makes the entire reading experience so much more fun. . . Honestly, this is quite possibly my favoritest book now. I will never ever ever let it leave my presence. (and the notes she’s written in it are quite honestly the most wonderful things to have ever existed. I seriously don’t deserve this girl.)

Pheebs and Ally were spot-on with their book recommendation: I adore this story. XD

LIFE-ISHNESS

  • I’ve been writing late at night again. (my writing process insists on continually switching from ‘morning writer’ to ‘midnight writer’. there is literally no in between.) It’s kind of bad for my sleep schedule, but my book loves it.
  • I have some exciting P L A N S for February–which actually has nothing to do with The Frank Experiment–so I’m really excited to hopefully do those things here in a couple weeks. Some of them include FLASH FICTION and POTENTIALLY POSTING SAID FICTION TO THE BLOG, so maybe you should be excited, too, yes?
  • WRITE-ON CON IS HAPPENING AGAIN!!! It’s at the end of February, and I’m still undecided as to whether I’m going to participate again this year or not. I do feel like I learned quite a chunk last year, and since EV is aaaaaaaaalmost to the querying stage, I feel like I could learn even more on the publishing side of things. . . *ponders whether I should join ominously*
  • I got new shoes! . . .they came from the kids’ section. They’re not exactly comfy on my arches after 7 and a half hours of standing every single day but I mean?? They have rainbows on them so I’ll deal. (update three days later: I’m getting new work shoes. these are great for just going out and about, but after about five hours my feet are literally killing me and I’d rather cut my legs off with a rusty hatchet than keep standing. so.)
  • As I kind of eluded to above, I GOT A PACKAGE FROM PHOEBE!!!!! If you aren’t already following Phoebe on like every single social media platform available, I don’t know WHAT you’re doing with your life, but she is literally the sweetest, kindest, funniest, most genuine human to have ever infiltrated this earth, and I DO NOT DESERVE HER, OKAY??? She is the literal best, and her gift-giving skills are incomparable, and I am a speechless blob of squishy happiness right now. . . <333


TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!

And that’s a wrap on January’s wrap-up! What have y’all been up to for the past month? Any exciting writing adventures? Any exciting NON-writing adventures? What books have you been devouring in January? Any recommendations for my constantly-growing TBR? (I’m kind of hoping none of you have recs. I don’t need more recs. KEEP THE BOOKS AWAY FROM ME!!! *screams and flails wildly about with pitchforks*) and most importantly. . .

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT MADE YOU HAPPY THIS MONTH???

I think a lot of times we focus on the negatives, but this year, let’s start focusing on the GOOD we’ve been given! Whether it’s a sunny day or a rainbow after a storm, tell me something that made your heart squish with happiness this month! For me, my biggest heart squishes came from the letter I got from Jem (again, I DO NOT DESERVE THIS GIRL, EITHER. what did I do to get such wonderful friends?? I feel like a fraud??), the package I got from Phoebe, and finding Frank in the thrift store. So what was your heart squish of January? Let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And until next time. . .

_flings cookies in the air and disappears_

13 thoughts on “JANUARY WRAP UP — smol writing updates, Harry Potter, and other random life-ishness

  1. YESSSS ILLUMINAE!!!! So excited you love it!!! Your January sounds great ^-^ My heart squish of January was getting ABB from YOUUUU, my roommate writing me a song, and my friends and I watching movies all day in a blanket burrito. ^-^

    Liked by 1 person

    • UM???? DUDE. YOUR HEART SQUISHES ARE SO ADORABLE, I CANNOT. I would absolutely love to watch movies in a blanket burrito!! Next time you have a blanket burrito movie marathon, I WANT AN INVITE!! (please??? I’ll bring Starbucks!!)

      Like

  2. If you ever expand your beta reader list…*raises hand frantically in the air like Hermione*

    Good luck working on SK! I hope writing and revising goes well–it can be a bit stressful to realize you want to change something right in the middle of drafting. But when is writing NOT stressful?

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL!!! Okay, just for that Harry Potter reference, YOUR NAME IS 100% GOING ON THE LIST. XD

      Meep! Thank you!! I’m actually really enjoying the drafting process right now. It takes me a while to get into the swing of it, but once I’m there, I get kinda lost in the whole creative aspect of it. XD (But oh my word, yes. It is extremely stressful. But it’s a GOOD kind of stressful, so that’s fun. XD)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dear friend,
    I used to be a very devoted reader (and commenter) of your blog, but as of late I haven’t found the time and so, after putting it off for as long as possible I believe it is time to say goodbye. You might not remember me, but I liked to scream about things and brandish a pitchfork (or maybe that was you doing the brandishing, honestly it’s hard to remember), and generally have a good time. I am sad that our time together is coming to a close. But E, you may be asking yourself, what on Earth are you doing writing this sappy comment about literally nothing important when I have much better things to do with my time?
    Well, I didn’t think it right to just unsubscribe without giving you a proper reason and a proper farewell. So here I am. Cleaning out my inbox of the dear old memories that I shall forever cherish but can no longer carry, and bidding you a fond farewell. I admire you very much, your worth ethic, your writing, your impeccable sense of humour. Go on being brilliant, my dear.

    ~E, aka your friend in the yellow shirt, aka theonewhooftenwrotethingswithoutspaces, aka Esther from scribbling pencils dot Blogspot dot com way back in the days of my youth… All my love and best of wishes.
    <3333

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwwww…. :(( This makes me so sad!!! I’m going to miss you, you marvelous bean!!!! But I also totally understand it. <33 At least we're getting to say goodbye and you're not just disappearing off the face of the planet! And who knows? Maybe you'll come back again and we'll live happily ever after. Until then, though, know that I enjoyed every single conversation we had, and that I most DEFINITELY remember you, and that you will be severely missed. <333 May you brandish pitchforks in your heart for the rest of time! *flings cookies in your face*

      Like

  4. Noooo sickness is January is just the worst.

    Good luck with EV out to beta readers!!! I get SO nervous when other people read what I wrote (especially if I’m sitting right next to them. Then I hide under the table). January I feel like lasted FOREVER, and it was really busy, but I’ve also been prepping to query so that’s exciting (and also slightly terrifying??)

    Liked by 1 person

    • IT REALLY IS. And I caught yet another cold here in February. WHAT EVEN, BODY. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO FUNCTION PROPERLY???? #FAIL

      Meep!!!! Thank you SO much!! It’s kind of terrifying, but kind of exciting at the same time! Part of me is ready for critiques, and other parts of me want to rip my hair out and go running out into the blizzard we are currently having to ne’er return. XD (hiding under a table would also suffice. Except I’m not sitting next to them, so it would just look odd.) WHAT!!! You’re prepping to query, too?? I feel like everyone is getting ready to query this year!! This is STRANGE, I TELL YOU!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so sorry you’ve been sick so much! UGH. That is so the worst. I hope you’ll make a full recovery quickly! <3 But that is fantastic you're still making progress on things. YOU GO, GIRL!!! All your writing accomplishments and endeavors are soooo exciting! And what is this I hear about flash fiction coming? YES YES YES YES YES YES. I NEEDS IT!!!!

    I LOVE this idea of focusing on the positive! One thing that recently made me super happy is getting to meetup with an internet friend and hang out for the afternoon. It was a DELIGHT!!!

    I do hope your February is a fantabulous one! Happy writing on Frank! :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • ACK!!! I really want to write some flash fiction!!! And now I have some I D E A S and they are brewing and I’m EXCITED, but…also I’m kind of terrified. XD But I have a story idea, and I’m really excited to hopefully put it into words! (and EEP!!! Oh my goodness, thank you so much for all of your kindness and support, Christine!!! You are literally the best… <333)

      WHAT!!! You got to meetup with an internet friend??? OH MY WORD THAT IS LITERALLY THE BEST!!! I got to meet up with my wonderful friend Phoebe a couple years ago, and I literally have not forgotten even a moment of it since. It was the most magical thing…

      Aww, thank you!!! February really has been quite awesome so far… I'm excited for what the future will hold for me–and this blog!!!

      Like

  6. Everlost is in Beta?!! That’s awesome!!!!!! I honestly can’t wait to read it I have so many questionnnnsssss. Also yes to Book Thief! It is delightful and way to go on your reading goals!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EVERLOST IS IN BETA!!!!! I’m low-key freaking out. Everything’s fine though. I’m just living with my face trapped inside a paper bag for the next few months. Aha. Hahahaha. Ha. *dies*

      MEEP! I can’t wait for you to read it, either!!!! I’m so excited for it to be in the hands of readers… But also I’m terrified?? BUT ALSO I’M EXCITED. IT’S CONFUSING. Book Thief was wonderful and I’m still crying.

      Like

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