April 2018 Reflections

LIFE UPDATES

  • Paneling/Signing + Meeting Toronto writers
    • This past month, I got to meet some amazing people in person! There’s a group of writers in Toronto who are incredibly talented and kind and welcoming. I hadn’t met any other writers in person before, though I have met authors. We met up at the panel and signing at Chapters Brampton with authors E.K. Johnson, Julie Dao, Rachel Hartman, and Morgan Rhodes! It was an exciting day of a brilliant panel with amazing questions and gorgeous answers. We had drinks later and talked about various writerly things that drew some strange looks from our server. I was so nervous but so excited and it was all so worth it. Writing is a solitary experience, but having this wonderful people in my life now makes it much less lonely and terrifying.
  • TAKING A BREAK FROM NOVELS
    • So, April was the month of getting things done. In order to accomplish that, I had to set the books aside for a while. It was a tough choice considering how many books I have set for my reading goal, but a necessary one. I reached a point where novels weren’t quite right for me. You’ll see what I managed to read this month and most of these books were poetry! I try to read as much poetry as I can these days to work on my voice and improve my prose. Not that I’m copying lines or phrases of course, just grabbing inspiration to pull together words in ways I hadn’t imagined before. Seriously, poetry helps.
  • Camp NaNoWriMo
    • I was very ambitious this month, desperately trying to get out this story that’s been in my head and growing and growing for several months now. I planned and plotted and expanded this little idea into something real. I had an outline and character bios and themes to touch upon. I did my research again and again until I figured out all the details of this book. It’s the first contemporary I’ve written, this #BakingFigureSkaterBook, and that proved to be a real challenge. With DVpit in the same month, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish both books. Annnd unfortunately, I was right. It was fun getting to play around with this book though! I didn’t win Camp NaNo, but that doesn’t mean I won’t finish this book.
  • Revising WHEN THEY BECKON
    • This was the other book that occupied my time. I’d planned on finishing revisions in February, but uh… things didn’t go as planned. So I wanted to get it all done in time for DVpit. 14k words scrapped, rewritten chapters, countless tweaking and polishing… A lot was accomplished! I focused more on that than my YA Contemporary. It’s the book of my heart, the one that I couldn’t not write, the story and characters filling my head for over two years now!
  • DVpit
    • I did a post on this pitch event because it was pure ridiculousness and nothing like I imagined, especially since I’d participated in DVpit last October with less than 10 likes from agents in total. Anyway, that happened. That was surprising. I’m still dealing with the aftershocks of that event, but hopefully I’ll have some news on that in the near future! Who knows!

BOOKS I’VE READ

  • Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust ★★★
  • Sweet Persuasions by Rochelle Alers ★★★
  • Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics ★★★★★
  • No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay ★★★★★
  • Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire ★★★★★
  • Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook ★★★
  • A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver ★★★

FILMS I’VE WATCHED

  • Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)
  • Risen (2016)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
  • Berlin Syndrome (2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

TV SHOWS I’VE WATCHED

  • Timeless (2016-)
  • Once Upon a Time (2011-)
  • New Girl (2011-2018)
  • Black Lightning (2018-)
  • Imposters (2017-)
  • Into the Badlands (2015-)
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March 2018 Reflections

LIFE UPDATES

  • Nonfiction piece on Ruru Reads
    • ICYMI: I had a nonfiction piece about first love and being fetishized on Ruru Reads that you can read here! I also wrote an open letter to go along with the publication in case people I know in real life read this piece and have some thoughts, which you can read here.
  • Working on Multiple Projects AT ONCE IS A LOT OF WORK WHY DID I DO THIS
    • So I’m trying to be ambitious and get a lot of things done. There are so many ideas in my head and so little time to get them all down. Sometimes I just start projects and let them sit for a while now that I’ve got some words down for them. At first, I was beating myself up over the fact that I did this with both RivalAssassinsWIP/B&B and BakingFigureSkaterBook/RFRE, but I realized I did this before. I wrote the beginning of WQC while I was drafting WTB because I needed to get that opening scene out so I can focus on WTB. And then as I was doing revisions on WTB, I started THTS because I had the beginning perfectly formed in my head.
    • So basically, I realized I’ve been doing this multiple times. Start, get the voice, and return to the main thing that I get done. It’s not always novel-length stories either. There are some short stories in my folders that are incomplete or in  need of serious, little things the size of a chapter or two in my novel-length projects that flow out in the moment so I can silence all the noise.
    • Maybe I’ll write a full post on that silencing-the-noise thing. I was telling someone the other day that I don’t have characters speaking to me or imagine worlds first like they do, I’m one of those writers who has an idea that’s like a seed and it grows and grows – or ideas like a web that’s constantly expanding. One small point that grows and expands until it’s this whole thing. And, sometimes, the starting point just needs to get down before I start building it, just so it feels like it’s getting the attention it demands.
  • No longer the New Girl at work
    • I’m adjusting to my job well, I think! I’m getting the hang of things to the point where I’m being allowed to help train the new person at work. It’s a little stressful because I don’t do things perfectly and there are still things I’m uncertain about, but it’s nice to look at it as seeing all the things I have learned and can do. That’s kinda why I like my accountability threads on Twitter – being able to visualize my progress and look at how far I’ve come.
  • Struggling to enjoy books
    • I do read a lot lately, but I might be burning out. Last year, I had a goal of 50 books. This year, my goal is 100. It’s a big jump and who knows if I’ll actually accomplish it. I don’t have as much time to read anymore because my commute to work isn’t as long as my commute to school. And books lately haven’t been as good as I hoped they were. I’ve been losing interest. Maybe in April I won’t strive to read as much as I planned (8-10 books per month) and just focus on my WIPs.
    • In trying to combat that lack of interest in novels, I’m trying to read more poetry! It’s an interesting adjustment and it does help me work on my prose and vocabulary so my writing isn’t repetitive or dull. That’s not to say that people who don’t read poetry write in repetitive or dull ways, but my writing gets that way. It’s my extra boost of inspiration especially since my writing often stems from a single line that’s beening playing over and over again in my head until’s written down.
  • Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo
    • this is part of my ambitious streak! So, in combination with working on multiple projects at once, I’m trying to get a schedule together to accomplish my goals. In the mornings, I’ll be writing. In the evenings, I’ll be editing. Since I do want a life outside writing, however, that means I won’t be cramming in edits every night which is fine with me. Who knows if I’ll win Camp NaNo? I’m still going to try and use this month as motivation to be productive. Hopefully I won’t get stressed out and hate myself if I don’t accomplish that 60k word count I’m aiming for.

BOOKS I’VE READ

  • Everless by Sara Holland ★★★
  • A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole ★★★
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton ★★★
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory ★★★
  • Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest ★★★
  • This Impossible Light by Lily Myers ★★★
  • Easy by Marie Ponsot ★★

FILMS I’VE WATCHED

  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
  • Love, Simon (2018)
  • Tomb Raider (2018)
  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
  • Expedition China (2017)
  • When We First Met (2018)

TV SHOWS I’VE WATCHED

  • This is Us (2016-)
  • Black Lightning (2018-)
  • Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
  • Versailles (2015-)
  • Timeless (2016-)

January 2018 Reflections

Every month, I’m going to do an overview of the books I’ve read, the films and television shows I’ve watched, and the things that have happened to me. Nothing big, just to keep track of what I’ve got going on and provide an update of my life.

January has been an eventful month with major life changes. 2018 is off to a great start.

OTHER LIFE THINGS:

  • New blog!
    • This little thing is brand new as of this past month. I wanted to start a blog a while back after having Tumblr, Twitter, and various other social media platforms. Finally, I’ve done it! This blog now exists for posts on writing, mental health, and various other topics.
  • I got a new laptop!
    • After saving up and draining the last of my student loans, I got a new laptop. I wanted to put it off until I had a job, but my laptop kept breaking down every week or so. Additionally, I needed a laptop so I could work on my WIPs and apply for jobs. So, a laptop was purchased. It’s not amazing, though it is definitely an improvement on the little slice of junk I had before.
  • I got a job at a French patisserie!
    • While I was in school, I wasn’t allowed to work because of my mental health. That has impacted my work experience, but luckily, I was hired for a job that makes me super happy. Pastries are my go-to for bad days and now I get to work with them and eat them and talk to people about them!
  • New CPs have changed my life and improved WTB
    • I’ve had beta readers, but not critique partners!
    • In December, I met my CP Marie who is AMAZING and THE SWEETEST and I ADORE HER AND HER HISTORICAL MS. You can follow her on Twitter and her blog!
    • In January, I was matched with my CP Rachel through Wendy Heard and Tracie Martin’s CP Matchmaking and she is INCREDIBLE, so kind and generous with an enormous imagination. You can follow her on Twitter and her blog!
    • These ladies have such cool stories and everyone should be looking forward to reading their stories. I’m so blessed and grateful to work with them.
  • Lasik Eye Surgery
    • After years of asking to do this, but having to wait until I finished university and my vision stabilized, I got my graduation gift from my mom. Lasik! It’s been a week since the surgery and everything’s been going great. My eyesight is not perfect (and sadly will never be thanks to my abnormally large pupils), but I no longer need glasses! The pain is gone and the world is beautiful.

BOOKS I READ: (8/100)

Last year, I read nearly 130 books.
This year, my goal is to read 100.
  • Hold Me by Courtney Milan ★★★★
  • Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan ★★★★
  • North to You by Tif Marcelo ★★★
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao ★★★★
  • The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin ★★★
  • The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie ★★★
  • My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin ★★★★
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling ★★★

FILMS I WATCHED:

While I watch several films each year, I’ve never kept track. Time for a change.
* means rewatch
  • Gifted (2017)
  • The Greatest Showman (2017)
  • The Ottoman Lieutenant (2017)
  • Jackie (2016)
  • Their Finest (2016)
  • One Day (2011)*

TV SHOWS I WATCHED:

  • The Gifted (2017-)
  • Mary Kills People (2017-)
  • This is Us (2017-)
  • Black Mirror (2011-)
  • Knightfall (2017-)
  • Versailles (2015-)
  • Myths & Monsters (2017-)