Monthly Review

December 2022 Wrap-Up Post

Ah yes, December, the month of chaos where I am full of food, have no idea what day it is, and am perpetually stuck between finishing the year and looking toward the new year. This month was a bit weird because, of course, we had the holidays to contend with, classes ended (yay for grading a shit ton of papers), and my partner was dealing with some med changes/season affect disorder, so fun all around. I don’t want to be a downer, so I’ll try to reel myself in. This month was similar to November’s levels of exhaustion, but I’m finally starting to feel better. Fingers crossed January is when I finally perk up more fully. As a reminder before we begin, here were my goals for December:

  • Finish writing Flowers and Flourishing
  • Edit Flowers and Flourishing
  • Read 8 books
  • Blog weekly and send out my December newsletter
  • Finish Christmas prep
  • Have 6 weeks of lessons prepped/outlined for next semester
  • Set goals for Q1 of 2023

Books

The goal was to read 8 books, and that’s exactly how many I read.

  1. Last Gender (Vol #1) by Rei Taki- 4 stars, a manga that follows several people who all frequent a queer club. A bit grittier(?) than I expected, but I liked the frank nature of the portrayals of all the characters.
  2. Undercover (#5) by Tamsyn Muir- 5 stars, as with all Muir books, it’s gorey, sapphic, and so unexpected. If you liked Gideon or Harrow, hit this up.
  3. Masters in This Hall (#3) by KJ Charles- 4 stars, an off-shoot story from the Lilywhite Boys where a decorator gets tangled up with a killer and the only way out is to team up with an irate past flame and an unexpected ally.
  4. Afterlives: The Return of the Dead in the Middle Ages by Nancy Mandeville Caciola- 4 stars, nonfiction research for a future book. It is academic but incredibly interesting as we get to see different kinds of dead and the geographic/theological changes.
  5. She Loves to Cook and She Loves to Eat (Vol #1) by Sakaomi Yuzaki- 4 stars, an adorable sapphic manga following a truck driver who loves to eat and an office worker who loves to make pretty (and large quantities of food). Being neighbors sparks the potential for something more.
  6. Hen Fever by Olivia Waite- 4 stars, a new woman moves into a town with a chicken breeding contest and finds love in a quiet, sunny woman who is hellbent on winning the festival and raising a once-thought-dead breed of chickens.
  7. Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake (#1) by Alexis Hall- 4 stars, a single mom enters a TV baking contest, falls for an asshole but eventually realizes she needs to take back control of her life and what she really wants.
  8. The Girl from the Other Side (Vol #12) by Nagabe- 4 stars, a volume that fills in with short stories. It was very cute and sweet, not a lot of substance but I loved seeing Shiva and Teacher again.

Admin/Behind-the-Scenes Stuff

  • Finished Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, *insert stressful holiday stuff*
  • Graded all my students’ portfolios and grades
  • Contacted ACX to get Kinship and Kindness changed from exclusive to non-exclusive (aka in the future I can publish the audiobook to sites besides Audible/Amazon and iTunes)
  • Listened to and approved the first 15+ minutes of The Reanimator’s Heart audiobook (same narrator as K&K!)
  • Worked on my lesson plans for my new class next semester and did 11/15 weeks worth of classes (aka I have 8 left to plan)
  • Set up my goals for 2023 Q1 and my 2023 bullet journal (it’s a lot of work)
  • Did an impromptu title reveal for the second Reanimator Mysteries book (I will do a more formal post here soon)
  • Edited Flowers and Flourishing. It’s currently in the let it rest stage before I go through and edit it again, but it will be coming to newsletter subscribers in late January. Join my newsletter to get it for free!
  • Edited what my newsletter automatic subscriber reply says in preparation for Flowers and Flourishing coming out. If you subscribe now, it’s the same, but I wanted to have the new copy ready for next month.
  • Played Lemoncake on PC (haven’t finished it yet), but if you liked Diner Dash or other timing based food/serving games, this one is basically the cozy version

Blogs Posted


Writing

I’m not going to do a week-by-week calculation because I wrote sporadically during the holidays and the numbers don’t make sense when you factor in editing and such. Instead I’m just going to talk a little bit about the writing process here. I struggled. Part of what sucks about what happened in November is that I sort of got out of practice/routine with my writing, so it ended up very much being done in small bursts, which is frustrating after having it be more fluid. I probably have a scene or two I will need to go back and add after I edit the second time, which is fine and expected. More than anything, I want to put out the best story I can for my newsletter peeps. Flowers and Flourishing has been fun to write and a far lighter (yet still pretty heavy) tone than The Reanimator’s Heart, and if you liked Kinship and Kindness, I think you’ll like this one too.


Hopes for January

  • 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
organization · Writing

Adding a Works In Progress Page

So you may have noticed something new in the upper menu of my website. It’s a “Works in Progress” page!

What is it?

I’ve been talking about potentially adding a works in progress page for a while but was hemming and hawing because I didn’t know if people would actually care. When I posted about it on Twitter, my friends and readers seemed enthusiastic, so here you go.

I also wanted to make this because it holds me accountable in my writing, and I think it adds a little more excitement surrounding my forthcoming projects. It’s basically a catch-all for the projects I am working on or intend to work on. And it’s a place where readers can keep an eye on what I’m doing and where the books they’re excited for are in their production.

If you want to, now may be a good time to check out the WIP page before I talk about it (I’d suggest opening it in another tab if you’re interested).

How does it work?

This page is broken down into currently in production, on deck, and backburner.

Currently in production is pretty self-explanatory. It’s the projects that I have started or am actively working on. Right now, I’m actively working on The Reanimator’s Heart and I have some words on Trousers and Trouble. In that section, I’ve also included a progress bar, and a slated release date. Since I’m not that close to being done yet, I do not have a specific date, so seasons/years will do. Right now, I plan to update the progress bars once or twice a month. I’d like to say twice a month, but I may forget (my apologies in advance). There will be a date for when the progress was last updated.

On deck is comprised of works that I know for certain I am working on soon. Typically I have plot ideas for these or know at least somewhat where they are going. I also want to specify that if there’s a series and there’s only a finite number of books listed, that is subject to change. I mention book 4 of the Paranormal Society Romances with a “the end?” because that’s the last book I have in mind now. That doesn’t mean that some character won’t steal my attention and become book 5. So don’t get sad if you see less books in a series you like. These books are also not in any sort of production order. Now that I have more than one series going, I don’t know which series’s book will grab my attention next, so I make no promises as to the order of completion (if only I could be so regimented).

Backburner projects are not shelved,they’re projects that are still marinating. I would like to work on them, but they’re still underdeveloped in my head. I don’t like to work on stories until I have a decent idea of where I want to go with them and who the characters are, so I make note of them and let them sit until they start to gel. I’m super excited about everything on this list, but I have to segregate them from my on-deck projects because I get overeager and scattered if I don’t have a semi-regimented to-do list. Having 10 series going at once is fun but not the best business decision.

How Often Will This Be Updated?

I’m aiming for twice a month. I would like to update it every two weeks or so because there should be a substantial change for my current project by then. As mentioned above, I may forget, but I promise I will update it at least once a month. If you’re very interested in this new page, do not check it every day, it will not change that often, lol. You also get to see how slowly I write.

Slowly but cleanly! Don’t panic when I don’t drop 50k words in a month because I tend to not need to do major edits on books, which is a perk of writing like a snail. Once I finish a draft, the updates will change from word count to editing progress.

Going Forward

Going forward, I will add more details as projects are fleshed out and come into themselves. So as I have titles and blurbs and links, those will appear on the “Work in Progress” page as well. Of course, I will still post about these things in regular posts, but that page will be a nice catch-all for things you may have missed on the blog.

Let me know what you think of the new WIP page!