Monthly Review & Quarterly Goals

I just realized my Wednesdays are off a week because IWSG happened on the 2nd Wednesday this month. AH, well! I'm not going back and editing those posts (I'm totally going back and editing those posts).

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I'm not going to ignore it: there's been a lot of death this season. I'm sure the death toll doesn't ramp up November through January (heck, maybe it does), but that's certainly what it feels like. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and hugging loved ones if you hug.

On the 31st, I will be halfway through my rounds of chemotherapy, thank God. I would love for the remaining three months to go by quickly on the days I  need them to go by quickly (i.e.: when I'm nauseated by the chemo and the medicine they give me doesn't work, or when my body aches like I have the flu and I just want to lay in bed until it stops) and slowly on the days I need them to go by slowly (i.e.: when none of the above is happening). However, that doesn't always happen, so I will just take things a day at a time and keep it pushing.

I reworked a whole chapter in Divided Princess this past weekend, which helped add some more action to the story, and I'm happy with it. Now, I think I can push forward with the story again. I looked over my NA fantasy I mentioned was at a full stop last week, and I put some notes on what I'll be changing in that one, also. Hopefully, I will be picking back up with it soon.

Sadly, I'm still on the same book from the beginning of the month, so I hope to be reading something new by February's Wednesday Words.

Some goals I have for this quarter are:

1) to eat better. I'm on the Daniel fast this month, and having stuck to it most of the 21 days felt like a big step in the right direction;

2) to exercise a little more on the days I feel good. With fasting comes losing water and muscle weight, so I need to get in the habit of toning that back into shape when I'm eating meat and bread again;

3) to cook more, or at least grocery shop food to eat more. The amount of fast food we usually eat is probably appalling; and

4) to read and write more. It's been a little slow for at least a year, due to circumstances obviously, but I think I can try to do a little better regardless.

I hope everyone has had a good start to 2020. What are some goals you have this quarter?

January Writing Update

Well, I'm off to a good start. I'll pretend like I posted this Wednesday.

It's already the 4th Wednesday of January, and I can't believe it. We're currently behind a week, because I forgot that IWSG was on the 2nd Wednesday this month, but that's okay. We're going to pretend it's the 3rd Wednesday. On 3rd Wednesdays, I usually forget to post on time, and then I give a writing update, so here we go.

I've actually been writing a little bit! I had a few bursts of inspiration for the asexual romance I've thought about doing for a couple years now. I now have names for my main characters, a couple major plot points, and some scenes planned! I want to kick it into full gear on this one soon. I haven't written romance in so long, but I know it will feel natural when I get back into it.

A couple months back, I also put down some words on a new supernatural fiction that I'm extra excited about featuring nephilim. I've wanted to write about these creatures for a minute, and I feel no one has gotten them right so far--though that's not totally fair to say, because there isn't much information on them in the first place. Still, I'm excited to give it a go.

Divided Princess needs more work before I can go on. I feel like the chapters I've written are okay, but not much happened, so I am going backwards for a little bit to insert some action before I move forward. I did put down a couple scenes, though, one of which is the last scene, and I'm extremely excited about it. It's something that didn't make the many cuts of Fractured Princess, but it will definitely work now.

My NA fantasy is on hold at the moment, just because of all the work I've done on the above. I had been reworking it, though, and I like where I'm going with those changes, too.

Have a great week! See you (on time) next week!

Wednesday Words: The Black Veins

Welcome back to Wednesday Words!

On second Wednesdays, I wear pink. No, just kidding. I share what I've been reading. We're currently behind a week, because I forgot that IWSG was on the 2nd Wednesday this month, but that's okay. This week, it is independent author Ashia Monet's The Black Veins!

This cover is intriguing. I love the color scheme. I mentioned meeting Ashia at the Ace/Aro Conference I went to during my July Monthly Review. She's aromantic, and she wanted to write a romance-free book where the relationship focus is familial and platonic. We don't get to see that often, so I was glad for it. There is also a list of trigger warnings and what pages they're on, so that's good for people who do have traumas. Here is the blurb:

In a world where magic thrives in secret city corners, a group of magicians embark on a road trip—and it’s the "no-love-interest", found family adventure you’ve been searching for.
Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop, so why should she care about having apocalyptic abilities?

She’s given a reason when magician anarchists crash into said coffee shop and kidnap her family.

Heartbroken but determined, Blythe knows she can’t save them alone. A war is brewing between two magician governments and tensions are too high. So, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled—the other Guardians.

I just realized I never read the blurb. I recently reached the kidnapping scene and wasn't prepared. So far, I'm intrigued by what will ensue. Blythe is about to leave in the Volkswagen, so the story is really about to move forward.

I don't want to go too far ahead in this one and spoil anything, so I'll share a line from an early page using page 23.

Frost Glade sounds amazing, it really does. She would rather see it with her family, where her mother can fall in love with that place again, than be trapped on its shores because the Trident Republic wants to kill her.

What are you reading this week?

Insecure Writer's Support Group
Founder: Alex J. Cavanaugh

Happy New Year, everyone! 2020 is here, and with the new month comes another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Visit the websites above to join in with our founder and this month's co-hosts.

When I take a break from blogging, I get the itch to post again, and I'm grateful for that. It means I still want to blog! The break was much needed, and I hope to get back in the swing of things and visiting other blogs again.

This month's question is: What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

Some who follow me may remember that my first urge to write came from a tv show: X-Men: The Animated Series. I wanted to write a book about teenage mutants (not of the ninja turtle variety, although that was one of my favorite shows, too). I wrote and illustrated those books for about 7 years before I moved on. I keep saying I'll revamp that series, and I'm slowly, slowly doing so. We'll see what happens.

A quick reminder that #IWSGPit starts next Wednesday from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. If your new year's resolution is to see your book published, the IWSG is here to help! Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.

Here are the rules: Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 15, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

See you next Wednesday!