Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Highlights

Well, it's hard to believe it's the end of the first month of the new year already. My January started out looking like it would be super quiet and dull, but suddenly it morphed into this intense and furiously busy time and left me standing there in a daze. It was a good thing though. A very good thing. It's been a good start to 2017 so far (still can't believe I'm currently existing in 2017, whaaa???)


LIFE EVENTS

  • Beginning of the month we had our homeschool gang's annual Secret Santa Gift Exchange party - which was awesome as usual. Unfortunately I am missing a few close members of that group (my two Mackenzie friends who are overseas) but there were still plenty of great people to enjoy. 
  • I had a lovely tea time with some of my fellow older female camp staff, with tons of good treats, coloring, wedding talk (cause two of us are engaged) and of course...TEA. 'Twas grand.
  • I got to do two photoshoots this month with two beautiful girls and I'm really excited about the results. I'm hoping to do some more here in February. 
  • I went house-sitting for the family who lives at my summer camp and got the luxury of Netflix, a house full of junk food to myself, and all the camp horses at my disposal for five days. I loved it. 
One of the pretty, young camp horses - so gorgeous!
  • The weekend before last I went on a hut trip, backpacking 12 km up a mountain to Elizabeth Parker Hut near Lake O'Hara with my fiance's family and some of their backcountry friends. It was a long, hard snowshoe up but totally worth it. It was absolutely gorgeous up there. We were roughing it boiling snow for water, no toilet paper and only fire for light and heat, but it was a great experience (for a couple days at least!) - even if I didn't change my bottom two layers of clothes for two days...shh!
Our hut adventure group
  • My cousins came out for the weekend and that was a blast, we got to just chill out and feed cows while singing along to Taylor Swift and stay up late watching Seinfeld.

WRITING LIFE


  My writing was a bit all over the place this month, but I think I actually got quite a bit done? Maybe? Who knows. In any case, I've been writing my short novel The Snow Dragon since November last year and am about eight chapters in (that's not very impressive, I know!). What started out as a simple story suddenly went and morphed into something quite elaborate and much different than anticipated. But I mean, that happens with all the stories I don't plan out with a chapter-by-chapter outline.

  Speaking of which, I also picked up where I left off sometime last spring in the sequel to The Awakening. This one is called The Wandering, they are parts of a lengthy fantasy series that I have been developing in my mind since I was eleven years old (so eight-ish years?). I am getting close to the quarter mark there (15 chapters out of a planned 60 excluding prologues and epilogues) and that is kind of exciting. I had put it aside to write The Sorceress and the Squid and Faithless last year but my interest in it was renewed sometime earlier this month and I've been working at it relatively steady since. I know, I shouldn't be writing two things at once. Nevermind editing two other things. I'm bad. And very much an over-achiever who is also a procrastinator and thus remains in a constant state of nothingness. Life of a writer.

  Aside from this actual writing, I also came up with a couple new story ideas/plot bunnies that are trying to lure me away cause I totally needed some more distraction. Making Pinterest storyboards for the first time was a key player in this I believe. These inspirations include a sci-fi (or not? haven't decided yet) novel about the historical Queen Cleopatra, a weird paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy story about a demon-filled swamp, and a sci-fi retelling of the myth of Medusa (inspired by one of my poems from last fall). I'm kind of excited about some of these, do any of them interest you?

READING LIFE


  Successfully completed a total of 2 books this month (very pathetic so I guess I'll have to amp up my game in February).

THE CHEMIST by Stephenie Meyer
I was drawn in by the cover and the synopsis to buy this book around Christmas time. I pored over it all through the holiday season and slowly became disappointed with the story's direction. It started off great with a really interesting lead female protagonist but then devolved into a weird love story thing (not a triangle, thankfully, but still weird) and I couldn't really take it seriously anymore. The love story angle was completely implausible and out of character for the MC. The beginning bit was pretty good though. So I'll give it some credit it there. You're probably thinking "what'd you expect from a Stephenie Meyer novel, Emily??" And actually, her other novel The Host, is quite a good book, as much as Twilight is awful. So I was hoping for the best. Didn't quite work out unfortunately. :P 2.5/5

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne M. Valente
This book was definitely the better of my two choices this month, I've seen quotes from this story in various places across the internet, but actually reading it is just, wow! It's very Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland - like, and it's awesome. It's not super long and really interesting - I highly recommend it. 4.5/5
“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk, and crusty things, and dirt, and fear, and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in awhile, you have to scrub it up and get the works going, or else you’ll never be brave again.” 

BLOGGING LIFE


  So far I'm actually maintaining my goal of posting once a week?? How?? I don't have any clue why this actually became a thing but I'm super stoked about it. I think I will be able to persevere and keep this up throughout 2017 and hopefully beyond (excluding July and August cause camp/wedding things). Now that I'm actually managing to spin out posts I'm hoping to increase my following, do more networking, have more guest-posters and maybe try out guest posting myself? We'll have to see how it goes.

Current Blogger stats are slowly climbing... :D

  • 4,413 pageviews
  • 13 followers (this is up a lot which is cool and encouraging)
  • 49 posts


GOALS FOR FEBRUARY


///READ 6 BOOKS? MAYBE? I don't know if I can do this but if I want to stay on track of my 50 book plan this year then I'll have to get cracking!\\\

///FINISH 1st DRAFT OF THE SNOW DRAGON This one won't be very easy either, I predict a busy February with wedding planning and such even though I don't have much scheduled yet. We'll see if I can buckle down.\\\

///WRITE 3 CHAPTERS OF THE WANDERING I should be able to do this one, that will bring me to the quarter mark and then I can celebrate by taking my focus back to where it should be!\\\

///FIND EDITOR FOR THE SORCERESS AND THE SQUID I really want to get on this so I can hopefully publish before summer or late spring (my busiest season). If anyone has any recommendations for an editor I would be incredibly grateful to you!\\\

  I think I'll keep these goals short and see where I'm at by March - hopefully not ridiculously behind as usual!

  How was your first month of 2017? Are you meeting some of your resolutions or goals? Do you have any recommendations for editors for me or are you searching for a place to guest-post or a guest-poster? Let me know in the comments below!


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