January, 2021

good morning, cyberspace!

It has come to my attention that I failed to write an update for the first month of 2021. And since one of my goals for the year is to become more involved on the blogosphere–and also lowkey keep better track of the months as they slowly slip through my fingers–I thought giving a recap on how January went for me was better late than never!

Honestly, not a whole lot happened during January. It was a rather unremarkable month. But being the first month of this brand new year, I still feel it’s worth acknowledging! This will most likely be a shorter blog post than we’re used to around here, but like … I’m not gonna say that’s a bad thing. XD

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january, 2021

writing

First up, let’s talk writing statistics! As far as writing goes, January wasn’t all that great for me. I definitely did not write near as much as I wanted to, and I’m still relatively behind on my first drafting for PROJECT GOBLIN. However, winter is a pretty strange season for me in general, so productivity typically falls out the window during these colder months.

All that said, though, I definitely did write some words! And though it wasn’t as much as I might have wanted, I’m still proud of the progress I did achieve!

word goal — 15,000 words

total words written — 12,786 words

projects tracked — project goblin

best daily writing streak — 12 days in a row

My main goal for January was to work on PROJECT GOBLIN and get a solid headway into the story. This … did not happen, exactly? But I definitely did work on it, and 12.5k story words is nothing to sneeze at, if I do say so, myself. Of course, I would have LIKED to write that extra 2,300 words and hit my goal of 15k, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Life happens, and I’m learning to embrace the chaos, accept the end result, and give myself grace in the midst of disappointment.

However, all that being said, I’m definitely planning on having a comeback in February. Which is saying something, since we’re already 7 days in at the time of me writing this, and I most DEFINITELY have not had any sort of comeback at all yet. But there’s still time! I have 21 days, peasants! I CAN DO THIS.

*distant sobbing*

Ahem. Anyway.

I also blogged a little bit last month, but since I didn’t track those words, I can’t exactly tell you how much was put towards blogging and how much was put towards actual story work. However, I can tell you that February has seen much more intent towards blogging than it has actual writing, and that … probably is not a very good thing. But since it’s been a while since I’ve actually been serious about blogging, I’m trying to ride this wave for as long as it will carry me.

Hopefully I’ll start writing more story words soon, though. I kinda need that if I’m going to meet my self-inflicted deadline.

reading

As described in my 2021 Goals & Aspirations post, I’ve kept up with my goal of reading books which are actually on my shelf, rather than obtaining more and … not reading them.

This, of course, comes with a wee bit of a caveat, because while I definitely read books on my shelf, they both also happened to be rereads… Which means I’m literally not any closer to narrowing down the list of books I own which I have yet to read.

But this is okay, because at least I haven’t been going out and obtaining new books, right? Haha.

Hahahahahaha…

…heh.

OKAY, FINE. I went out and bought three new books, okay? But it’s not my fault. I take one step into a Barnes and Noble and suddenly I’m having an out-of-body experience in which I’m incapable of stopping myself from adopting at least one new child. It’s … it’s not good. But also I have NO SHAME, PEASANTS. NONE WHATSOEVER.

Awkward Season 4 GIF by The Office

Okay, I honestly have a problem. But it’s fine. I’m excited about the books I bought, and even more excited about my two rereads, so let’s just celebrate the bookishness that happened last month, yes?

Yes. Let’s do that.

books read

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE by JK Rowling

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Technically I’m buddy-reading this one with Christine, and GUYS. First of all, this story is absolute whimsy on a page, and secondly–CHRISTINE IS LITERALLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE HUMANS EVER. After reading this book, we had a Zoom call and squealed about all things Harry Potter and life-ishness and writerly, and guys. It was magical. I adore this girl with my whole entire heart, I swear.

ENTWINED by Heather Dixon

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This book, guys. It’s magic and romance and enchantment and whimsy and sisterhood and just…!!! This book has my heart, and it’s had it ever since I read it for the first time a few years ago. I think there’s a more detailed review of my first reading lurking somewhere on this blog, but I’m too lazy to find it, and I’m also a little too terrified to try. (my early reviewing days were … um … *distant screaming whilst my blog backlog goes up in flames*.)

Anyway.

books obtained

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaimon

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This is my first Gaimon, and GUYS! I am so so excited to read this one! I’ve been wanting to read The Graveyard Book ever since Phoebe told me my goblins (from PROJECT GOBLIN) sounded similar to some characters (ghouls, I think?) from this story. And I FINALLY found it at Barnes and Noble and it was like 10 bucks and I’m just!!!!! Over the moon thrilled is what I am, my friends.

READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Clime

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This one was–not gonna lie–a severely impulsive buy. But I went to a Barnes and Noble with a new friend, and she told me she absolutely adored this book and thought I’d really like it, so … obviously I had to buy it. XD I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, with the majority of it being positive, so I’m really eager to read it and form my own opinion!

Also I’ve just discovered that me, aforementioned friend, and yet another new friend might be starting our own little book club, with this being our first read, and I just???? This sounds adorable? I’m very excited about this, not gonna lie.

And finally, the book I’m probably MOST excited about right now…

AN ECHO OF THE FAE by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

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I was part of the cover reveal for this story, as well as an arc reader (though I didn’t finish the book in time, and I wasn’t able to write a review like I’d wanted to for the blog tour), BUT. I hadn’t gotten my own copy of this book yet. However, it’s one that I knew I wanted to add to my collection this year (despite my self-inflicted book-buying ban), and just recently I saw that the hardcover had gone on sale for a limited time!

…you guys can probably piece the story together from here.

Technically, my copy of ECHO hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, but I’M STILL REALLY REALLY EXCITED FOR IT TO GET HERE…!!! I’m so excited, guys… Jenelle is one of my favorite humans ever, and her stories always have this element of whimsy and adventure within them that just speaks to my very soul. I know for a fact that once ECHO gets here, I’m probably going to bump it to the top of my TBR almost immediately.

(smol update: my copy of ECHO came!!! and as predicted, this is going to the top of my TBR. #oops)

community

So! In keeping with my goal of staying connected with the blogging community more this year, I’ve decided that I’m going to add a “community” section to each of my monthly recaps! (very smart. much wow.) This, of course, is a wee bit of an experiment at the moment, but I’m eager to see how it will change and grow over the course of the next few months!

Unfortunately, January was a bit of a “dead month” for me, so I once again wasn’t super active here on the blogosphere as I would have liked to be. BUT. I’m still going to highlight some of my favorite bloggers, because even though I haven’t been reading and interacting as much as I want to, I’ve definitely rediscovered some of my favorite blogs this past month, and I want to share them with you all today! (even though y’all are probably already following each other, but IT’S FINE. I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. MWAHAHAHAHA. #help)

i. Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

If you’re not following Jenelle yet, you are SERIOUSLY missing out. This girl is an absolute FAIRY. Her stories are magic and fairy dust, her blog posts are clever and incredibly insightful towards all things writing and indie publishing. She’s a wonderfully talented writer and an even greater friend, and I am so incredibly honored to have this beautiful human in my life.

Jenelle is also currently hosting something called Fantasy Month, so you should definitely hop on over to her blog and check it out before February ends!

ii. Sarah Seele

Sarah is one of the wittiest, cleverest (yes, it’s a word) bloggers I know. I don’t even remember how we stumbled across each other’s blogs, but I swear hers is one of my favorites to just binge on a rainy day when I’m hit with the sudden, inexplicable desire to just read some blog posts. She also has this really beautiful, almost magical way of writing, and I just *clutches heart*. She’s precious and I adore her and you NEED to go give her a follow if you haven’t already, okay? Okay.

iii. Christine Smith

For almost as long as I’ve been a part of the blogging community, Christine has been one of the sweetest, most encouraging voices. She is sunlight and kindness and I truly do not deserve to have her in my life. But oh my word, am I thankful for her. I literally cannot envision being a part of the blogging world without Christine. She makes every day brighter, and having her as a friend is legitimately one of the greatest things to have come from my time as a blogger.

Oh. And not to mention the fact that her blog posts are actually the most wonderful posts you will ever read in your whole entire life. (not even joking) Christine is one of those bloggers who I feel like everyone already knows, but GUYS. If you’re not following her already … please go follow her. She is actual sunshine in a bottle, and you need to read her posts.

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talk to me, peasants!

and that’s that for my January, 2021 recap! I … don’t exactly know how we’re already nearly halfway into February, but here we are. (are you scared? I’m scared.)

Anyway! Some questions for you all to ponder whilst I go have an existential crisis!

how did your january go? did you get any writing done? read any good books? have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned here, and–if so–what were your thoughts/opinions on them? and for all my fellow bloggers/readers of blogs out there (which is obviously you since you’re reading this), what are some of YOUR top favorite blogs to read?

Let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And until next time…

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

17 thoughts on “January, 2021

  1. I’m so excited for Project Goblin, hope you’re able to meet your February goals for it.
    I’m trying to read more of the books I already own, but always end up buying a few too. It’s a problem.
    Echo of the Fae was one of those, I can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, thank you!!! It’s definitely going a little better than last month, so we have much excitement for that. XD

      UGH, YES. I just…I think it’s physically impossible to NOT to buy more books? Books are life? And I mean…technically it’s RESEARCH. Right? …right. XD

      Like

  2. WELL JUST GO AND MAKE ME NEARLY BURST INTO TEARS WHY DON’T YOU???? UGH. KENZIE. All the things you said I JUST CAN’T.

    First of all, buddy reading HP with you is the best thing ever and I 1000% agree with ALL the things you said. Video chatting was like the highlight of my YEAR so far and I cannot wait to do it again and just alkjlskjdflj. I LOVE TALKING WITH YOU.

    Secondly, everything you said about my blog just !!! I HAVE NO WORDS. ONLY HAPPY TEARS. But also that’s how I feel about YOU and your blog! You are one of the most sunshiny-est people I know and I feel SO blessed to know you! And your blog posts make me smile every. single. time. I am just constantly soaking them up. I SERIOUSLY DON’T HAVE WORDS. I’M JUST SO HAPPY TO KNOW YOU. *bursts into more happy tears*

    I adored this whole recap! I, too, have been meaning to read The Graveyard Book for AGES. And ENTWINED. OH MY WORD. Literally one of my most favorite books of all time. I need to reread it! It’s been far too long! And of course An Echo of the Fae is AMAZING. <3

    Aaahhhhh this whole post just made my day 1000% brighter! *GLOMPS YOU*

    Like

    • Oh my goodness!!!! I honestly cannot wait, either!!! I’m so so beyond excited to keep buddy reading with you! (and potentially reading TLC once Harry Potter is over!!!! I really hope we can make that happen, because I am SO ready for a reread of that!)

      AND EEP!!! OH MY WORD, CHRISTINE!! I mean I guess we could consider ourselves the sunshine superheroes of the blogosphere–spreading light and positivity wherever we go. XD But also we are now in a war over which of us is the sunshiniest, and I wholeheartedly believe that award should go to you. XD

      UGH. ENTWINED IS SO SO GOOOD. I’m just so in love with that novel. And BRAMBLE!! AND LORD TEDDIE!!! I just….my heart. It belongs to them forever!! <333

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  3. YES Sarah is so great! She’s so smart and she has such a great blogging voice 😍

    I read Legendborn this february (which wasn’t THAT great, but it was okay), and I’m currently reading the sequel to We Hunt the Flame and it’s such an amazing duology I love it. We Hunt the Flame is just. So good. So angsty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on writing 12.8k words! Even if you didn’t quite reach your goal, it’s still really impressive! (I…wrote zero story words in January. I’m gonna blame the Calculus. XD)

    HP! Yay! Oh my word, it must have been SO FUN buddy reading with Christine! She’s such a lovely human. :)
    I didn’t get as much reading done in January as I wanted, mostly due to Les Miserables…which I really enjoyed, but which took me far too long to read. (Who’d have thought that a book that’s over a thousand pages long might take one a long time to read? Not me, CLEARLY.) And now I’ve moved on to the Brothers Karamazov, another over-thousand-page read. World Literature class is making my reading life…interesting.

    Ready Player One is great! I really enjoyed it, even though I didn’t get all the references.

    Ahhh all the bloggers you highlighted are the BEST! They’re definitely some of the highlights of my feed. :) I also LOVE Megan Chappie’s blog (she’s on hiatus right now, but her blog is amazing, and she is another of the nicest humans in the blogosphere).

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    • Oh my goodness!! Thank you so much, Samantha! AND OOF. Yes, that is DEFINITELY the calculus’ fault, and I refuse to hear anything else. XD Calculus is a beast, and I completely respect you for tackling that!

      It is honestly the most wonderful thing in the whole entire world, I’m not gonna lie. She is honestly the most sunshiniest human in the whole entire world, and getting to squeal with her over HP has been one of the most wonderful things to happen to me!!

      OH GOODNESS. See, I watched the movie of Les Miserables (I know. Not the same, but STILL), and…didn’t really enjoy it. XD So I highly doubt I’ll ever be able to force myself to pick up the novel and read it, especially since it’s so long. Small books are where it’s at for me right now, which is slightly odd, seeing as though all of MY novels tend to be 100k+ beasts. But I digress. World Literature sounds like such an interesting class, though! Even though you’re having to read such mammoths of novels… XD

      I’m really excited to read it!!! Oof. References sometimes fly RIIIIIGHT over my head, so I’m interested to see how many of them I can pick up on. XD

      OOOH! I’ve never heard of this blog! 10/10 just googled it and am following it now!!! Thank you so much for the recommendation!

      Like

  5. I have this same problem with bookstores. Probably why my family doesn’t let me go into them and keeps me on a VERY short leash when we do. eheheh

    I really want to read Ready Player One. I saw the movie a couple of years ago and surprisingly… shockingly… LOVED IT. I thought it was gonna be one of those “eh. throwaway” movies, but it was startlingly amazing and nostalgic and has this absolutely gorgeous ending with an… almost Christian message? It’s very cool. SO I definitely need to read the book.

    Awwwww, thanks for the shout-out!!! *collapses into a puddle of happy goo* (okay… that sounded more grateful in my head… written out, it’s actually a wee bit disturbing)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oof! I’m glad I’m not alone in the struggle! Unfortunately my family just sort of unleashes me on the bookstore, rolling their eyes when I say “I’m not gonna buy anything!”, and then rolling them again when I come back with a stack of books in my hands. XD

      OOOH! I did not know this about the movie! I haven’t read the book OR seen the movie, so I’m really quite excited to read it! And then watch it… Or vice versa. We shall see which happens when. XD My brother is a huge fan of video games, so I’m hoping that if I read it and it’s quite video-game-y, he’ll be down for watching the movie with me. XD

      LOL!!! Oh my word, honestly it sounds like something *I* would write, so I didn’t think anything of it other than ‘lol, lovely visual’. XD And MEEP! Thank YOU for being such a lovely voice of light and peace in a world that is consistently dark! We need more people like you. <333

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  6. Well, you are doing better than me with reading. At least they are from your shelf. The books I’m reading are library books. I haven’t even started on shelf yet. -_- (But I addicted to borrowing library books and I honestly don’t know why I love them so much, but here we go.) I also got 2 new books to add to my shelf. #send help.
    I didn’t do much writing either. I planned to do a lot of writing last month but, yeah, it just didn’t happen.
    Also awesome new books you’ve got there! I have Ready Player One on my TBR, but I don’t have the others and I really think I should. I’ll go check them out. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh, see, I think once spring/summer hits, library books are going to wipe all of my shelf books away. XD I LOVE visiting the library, but with the weather we’ve been having, it hasn’t been quite possible for me to swing by the library after work. By the time I get out I just want to come home and get out of the cold. XD (and there truly is something about library books that you can’t find in anything else! I think it’s partly the magic of the books being read and loved by so many people…)

      Right??? I think last month was kind of recovery period for me, so maybe it was like that for others as well? Here’s hoping February treats us a little better writing-wise!

      YESSSSS!!! I’m so so excited about the books I bought! Even if…I wasn’t supposed to….buy….books…. *distant sobbing* ANYWAY. I’m very excited about them and I have no shame. Huzzah. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You can never buy too many books.

    “learning to embrace the chaos, accept the end result, and give myself grace in the midst of disappointment.” that line is gold.

    Also, 15k words in a month is actually A LOT. I recently listened to a podcast, and the writer they were interviewing (published, mind you) said that for her 10k words is usually the max of how much she writes in a month. Everyone has SUCH a different capacity, and also during a pandemic doing anything at all is a success I think XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • AMEN. Bless you for this. XD

      Oh my goodness!!! I don’t know why, but this just made my whole day… Thank you!!!!

      Oooh! Oh my word, that is incredibly interesting! Which podcast were you listening to, if you don’t mind my asking? (i’m always looking for new writing podcasts to listen to. XD) Actually, hearing that is pretty encouraging. So far this month I’ve already written about 9,000 words, so even if I only write 1,000 more, I’m technically still on track with a published writer. XD (also also also, I find it VERY interesting how every writer goes through different highs and lows with their writing. There are definitely seasons where I hardly write anything at all, and then seasons where I pound out ALL of the words, and I just…why can’t I even it out a little bit? XD)

      VERY true about the pandemic. Even though I hope we’re nearing the end of it, I definitely think it’s still difficult to be creative right now.

      Like

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