Phew, January has been one of those months where it is a mad dash toward the finish line, but it has also been one of the best months I have had in a while. Writing/editing Flowers and Flourishing went well, and that’s been sent out to my newsletter subscribers. The spring semester started, and my students seem like a good bunch (hopefully energetic and interested too). Best of all, I feel like I’m finally coming out of my winter exhaustion. Anywho, let’s take a look at the goals or aspirations for January that I made last month
- Figure out how quarterly taxes work
- Start working on the second Reanimator Mysteries book
- Book research
- Read 8 books
- Blog weekly
- Finish editing Flowers and Flourishing
- Send out Flowers and Flourishing with my January newsletter
- Finally, a little relaxation via gaming or art regularly
My reading goal for January was to read 8 books, and I read 10 books.
- The Six Deaths of the Saint (#3) by Alix E. Harrow- 4 stars, still loving the Into the Shadows series (different authors each book). The way Harrow plays with time in this short work is superb.
- The Kingdom of Copper (#2) by S. A. Chakraborty- 4 stars, you know a book is good when you finish it and immediately dig around to find the next one. It is a doorstop, but it was so worth it, especially if you like Middle Eastern flavored mythology mixed with court intrigue.
- A Mirror Mended (#2) by Alix E. Harrow- 4 stars, more broken fairytales with our universe-hopping hero only this time she falls into the wrong story and she must save herself and an unlikely ally.
- Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse- 5 stars, so frigging good. An atmospheric mystery complete with angels, demons, and a gritty new world.
- Into the Windwracked Wilds (#3) by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire)- 4 stars, if you like Wizard of Oz-esque tales, this series is for you. It is meant for a middle grade audience, but it’s still complex and intriguing for adults as well.
- Lost in the Moment and Found (#8) by Seanan McGuire- 5 stars, a phenomenal read about childhood trauma and what happens when you can’t trust the adults in your life, one of my favorites from this series so far (though I love all of them).
- Mummies, Cannibals, and Vampires by Richard Sugg- 4 stars, a bit of book 2 research. It focuses on the way corpse medicine was used for centuries, the rehabilitation of doctors as a profession, and the way the rich made use of the poor. Fascinating stuff, writing at times could have been tighter/better organized.
- A Garter as a Lesser Gift by Aster Glenn Grey- 4 stars, a Gawain and the Green Knight retelling set during WWII, it does a great job of capturing the original story while keeping it fresh and modern.
- Not Your Valentine by Jackie Lau- 4 stars, a contemporary romance where a woman who has had her breakup go viral denounces love only to recruit her friend into being her fake boyfriend to get her friends off her back. You can guess how this goes wrong.
- Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom- 5 stars, fascinating look into the history of books bound in human skin with forays into medical ethics, book challenges, fakes, and the history of several examples.
Buckle in, buttercups. It’s been a busy month.
- The Reanimator’s Heart won the Queer Indie Awards for Best Historical Romance!
- Officially finished writing Flower and Flourishing (yes, I said I finished last month, but I needed to add/rework some stuff)
- Edited Flowers and Flourishing multiple times
- Proof-read Flowers and Flourishing (though I’m sure there are still typos *laugh sob*)
- Formatted Flowers and Flourishing, set up my Bookfunnel account, and set it up there as a newsletter freebie
- Updated all my newsletter info to match the aforementioned update/book release
- Sent out Flowers and Flourishing to my newsletter subscribers (sign-up at the top of the page if you want it or you can add it on Goodreads)
- Made a landing page on my website for Flowers and Flourishing
- Announced the title for the sequel to The Reanimator’s Heart, which is The Reanimator’s Soul (add it on Goodreads)
- Started brainstorming ideas for The Reanimator’s Soul before I start writing
- Started doing research for The Reanimator’s Soul
- Spoke at the Romancing the Gothic Book Club about The Reanimator’s Heart
- Looked into quarterly taxes- more confident about it but also feel like puking every time I think about it
- Played video games weekly to unwind
- I started playing Lemoncake but didn’t really love it because I’m not great at those sorts of running around, optimization games
- Then, I started playing Bear and Breakfast and have been enjoying that much more
- Finished drafting all my lesson plans/notes for the new class I’m teaching
- Created all the syllabi and Blackboards for my classes this semester
- December 2022 Wrap-Up Post
- Spiting the AI
- Why I Write What I Write
- Writerly Tools of the Trade
- January Newsletter- no link this time because it has a link to Flowers and Flourishing. Instead, you can sign-up for my newsletter and get your copy of Flowers and Flourishing by clicking here
I’m not going to post my weekly stats again because it’s a weird mix of writing and editing, which isn’t very quantifiable. What I can say is that I started the month at 29k words in Flowers and Flourishing and ended the month at 37k words, which means I wrote 8,000 words. Considering I was absolutely fried at the beginning of the month, I’m really happy with this. Some of these words were brand new, others were fleshing out and/or changing things I wrote in the first half of this book. Writing and editing for me is never a linear process. I tend to do a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing where I write, edit, write, edit, then do a major edit, then write more, and repeat. A lot of people like to zero/fast draft and then start a new draft from beginning to end, but that just isn’t how I work. I tinker with my past writing session’s words as a warm-up before I jump back in. For me, it eliminates a lot of stress at the end when I need to clean up the manuscript since almost all of it has been touched multiple times. While writing this month, I also made a list of things I needed to edit/tweak in a Notepad file and had that open as I wrote. That way, I could make sure I mentioned little things that became important later. Notepad as a tiny, moveable stickynote while I’m editing/writing does wonders.
I also did a lot of brainstorming for The Reanimator’s Soul. In the past, I’ve been bad about actually putting pen to paper with ideas, and then, I get mad at myself when I forget them. The hope is that if I write a bunch of stuff down and pick through it after, it will help me figure out where to start the story and make outlining a bit easier.
Hopes for February
- Learn more about writing mysteries specifically (research!)
- Outline Act I of The Reanimator’s Soul
- Write 500 words a day (14k total)
- Grade a shit ton of papers with my brain in tact
- Manage stress
- Do more art
- Read 8 books
- Blog weekly
- Send out my monthly newsletter