More Editing, More Reading and More More (January 2018 Wishlist)

Another day, another week, another month, and now, another year.

I probably say this every year, but wow, that went fast, didn’t it!

And this last month, well, it wasn’t nearly as productive as I hoped it would be (but I think considering my progress this last year, it sort of makes up for it).

My goals for December went to pot mostly. And, as much as I don’t really want to look back at them, let’s do it for consistencies sake, shall we?

  1. Finish reworking Tales of Monsters – Well
  2. Put together a Beta-Reader survey + Maybe find beta readers if TOM gets finished? – Uhm
  3. Take part in the 12 Days of Blogmas! – Done and dusted
  4. Read some books! Particularly Joe Abecrombie’s Half a King – I tried
  5. Write Al and Rhys’ version of a Christmas dinner in the zombie apocalypse and post it on the 25th! – See it here
  6. Take part in some insta challenges – #FanaticalBirdDecember and #IGWritersDec! – Well, not exactly!
  7. Buy all presents before the 24th – Nope
  8. Try not to eat all the food! – Ahahaha

So, I hardly wrote anything to do with Tales of Monsters! I have rewritten some of the chapters, and I’ve decided that I’m now gonna swap around the first two chapters, and I might even have my first line all sorted. But, it’s nowhere near where I hoped it would be! And other than taking mental notes on what I would ask beta readers in the survey, nothing much has been done about that either!

Blogmas though, blogmas (and promptmas) went well! I managed to keep up with the twelve days, and I had fun! There were some post ideas I never got around to doing, and the last two days or so turned in to more Christmassy ramblings than anything, but, at least, there was still a post!

Blogmas even encouraged some new short stories from my WIP’s, both Tales and Nano’s Diaries! Ryan met Rudolph in Pembrey forest, Url wanted to runaway to bard school, and Rhys told Al and Josie a zombiefied Christmas story!

However, reading this last month has been hard! I started Half a King on the train to Manchester, and read a bit of it on the train home as well, but other than reading a chapter or two after it, it’s stayed untouched. I haven’t read hardly anything, except for a little bit of a beta document I’m reading! And, towards the end of the month, I started reading Seeker of Time by J.M.Butler (As of writing this, I’ve only read the first couple chapters, here’s hoping by the time you get this post, I’m half-way through or finished).

I also said I’d take part in some insta challenges, which happened for like three days and then just didn’t. I did take part in my own promptmas challenge though, which made for a lot of fun during the Christmas period! You can see all the prompts at the bottom of this post!

Buy all the presents before the 24th. That just didn’t happen, at all, and try not eat all the food was a farce too.

This month, other than going to Manchester at the beginning of it, and going to the Christmas markets there, which were absolutely packed by the way (and at one point, having my friends little cousin throw up in his KFC fry box), and eating loads of chocolates, my month was mostly filled with work, sleeping and attempting to wrap presents!

So, in retrospect of how well it did not go last month, here are some new years goals! Or January goals at least!

1. Finish reworking TOM!

2. Get TOM beta reader ready and a survey done up!

3. Keep a bullet journal! I have one of those square dotted notebooks coming in the post!

4. Beta read! I have two I need to get through! One a sci-fi, and the other a steam punk fantasy type novel!

5. Reading! I need to read more! I have three books this month that I’m excited to read, and I should, really, finish Half A King too! I also joined a book club! So, that’ll be fun!

6. Play more video games.

I think, for this month, I’ll stick with six! Last months was a big push, and I think five is a good number! But, as the days have gone on, more have popped up, but you can check it all out on instagram!

Anyway, my Christmas was quiet, the new years celebrations are set to be a blast, and I hope this year brings you whatever you want most!

This post probably should have been more of a reflection and look-back on 2017 (as its the first day of 2018 and all that) but, other than a few memories I’ll be taking from it, 2017 can stay in the past!

Happy New Years guys, I’ll see you on Wednesday!

Jade x

NaNoWriMo, Zombies and Putting Manuscripts to Bed (November Wishlist)

First off, fellow Nanodoers, go and write that novel and stop procrastinating!

So, before we start off this months wishlist, lets see how last months went, shall we?

The October wishlist!

  1. Finish editing TOM – Well, yeah, that didn’t exactly happen, but more about that afterwards.
  2. Prep, prep, prep – Well, that actually worked a little better than I thought it would!
  3. Take part in at least two readathons – not exactly, but I read like seven books so that’s not too bad!
  4. Read Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell (It comes out on the 5th and I can’t wait!) – Lets not even talk about this! I finally have it now but I haven’t read it yet!
  5. Finish my Novels page on this blog! I did it, and even posted my first WIP novel ‘Tales of Monsters’, you can find it here!

There were also a few extra things that happened this month. First off, I started a new job. It’s much better than my last one, but still, it’s not great. Secondly, my hamster, Mouse, had his operation, and he came out better than ever! And, something that wasn’t planned, at all, included my dad trying to cut off his own hand. He had to spend two nights in hospital because of it, and hopefully, he might be a bit more careful the next time he uses a circular saw thing!

As I said towards the top, I also managed to read like six books, plus beta read one fairy tale retelling – Melody by Penny Kearney – and the beginning of an epic fantasy. Both of them felt like a privileged to read, and they need to be on your TBR lists once their out in the world! I’ll be sure to let you guys know all about them when the time comes!

The published books I read included Secret of Souls by Aubrie Nixon, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Traitors Blade by Sebastien de Castell, Mike Thomas’ Ash and Bones, Leigh Bardurgo Six of Crows and Michael Morpurgo’s Listen to the Moon! A load of reviews to come!

I spent some of the month also prepping myself for NaNoWriMo, and I am so excited to write this novel, I really hope it keeps the motivation and the inspiration there for me to get to the end!

This also means though, that this month, I want to dedicate all of my writing efforts to Nanowrimo, and that means I need to put ‘Tales of Monsters’ to bed for the month. I have to say goodbye to one, and hello to another, and even though it’s not goodbye forever, it feels like I’m losing a limb or something. But, if I don’t do it, my Nanowirmo project won’t get what it needs, and I think it’ll be good to have a break between this draft of ‘TOM’ and the next! I honestly learned that there’s no point in me rushing it, it’s a big world and it needs to be right, and I also need to get it ready enough for beta readers, so, if you’re looking for a medieval type fantasy with some monsters in it, watch this space!

Another reason for this is that my NaNoWriMo project started off as something quite simple. But, lately, it’s started to grow even more inside of my mind, the contrasts and the comparisons that link in with my two main characters are getting intense, and quite deep, and I only hope that it works out the way it is in my head! There’s no real end goal, not really. A child is in no way going to find the cure to a zombie apocalypse, and neither is they guy who found her diary, but maybe they can find themselves at the end of it, or perhaps Al decides he wants to find this little girl whose diary he’s reading; but, if she doesn’t have her diary anymore, does he really? Or, maybe, in true zombie fashion, they both die at the end.

However, if anything, I really hope that the children in this book show the adults how it’s done! Mel is a strong little thing, despite being eleven years old, and I’m hoping that the innocence of a child will show all the downfalls that adults go through in times of peril!

So, my goals for this month include:

  1. Write a novel in 30 days (or 50k at least).
  2. Don’t pick up Tales of Monsters, at all!
  3. Keep up with a couple writing Insta challenges.
  4. Read at least one book – Most likely World War Z…
  5. Keep up with Wednesday blog posts – even if their just small NaNoWriMo updates!

So, here’s to November, to the month of fall, to the day the Zombie apocalypse begins and to all the others out there attempting the NaNoWriMo challenge

These are the challenges I’m taking part in! I know it seems like a lot, but it means I can connect with more writers and fellow NaNoDoers!

Just keep writing is the best advice I can give to some of you this month! And, keep trucking on and completing all the goals you set yourself!

Preptober, Readathons and an Operation on a Hamster?!? (October Wishlist)

You know, I already started writing this post, when I decided to look back at my wishlist for September to remind me of what I’ve written. But, as I was on my phone, it meant that I had to go out of the writing post bit and to the old one. Safe to say, when I wanted to return to the post I was writing, it wasn’t there… And I seriously think it was one of the best I have ever written, and now, this is probably going to be a haphazardly mediocre post of me trying to remember the really ‘cool’ sentences that I wrote before!

(I’ve also just a finished a whole big bar of malteasers… That’s how this October is going to start)

So yeah, welcome to October everyone!

Last month, I had one goal, one wish… And that was to go to Hogwarts… But I missed the train, the platform was closed… And instead, I had to toilet train the little monster we call Albert (or little sh*t). Let’s just say, that, if anything, he now poops outside our back door. Sometimes, right by the step, other times, a little further away (we have like a little covering of sheds and outbuildings that lead in to our outside garden – but it’s still technically outside so he’s one step closer). And the weewee’s happen outside most of the time, unless the door is shut or he get’s too distracted whilst playing with one of us or the big dog. Although, he uses the puppy pads more often than not, and will go out for a weewee in the mornings if you go with him..

He doesn’t seem to like the dark all that much though. Once, I came home from work, took him outside, looked down at him and he turned, walked back in to the house and weed on the carpet… So, yeah… Now, both me and the big dog go out with him, and he’s got much better, although, the little wuss doesn’t like rain all that much either, so yeah!

He did get a big boy collar though! He used to have a cat one, now he has a puppy one!

So, puppy training continues for this month and many more months to follow, I’m sure, but hopefully, now, once he has his injections on the 2nd, he can go out and experience the world and run off some of that energy that he likes to use to rag our poor Springer around the house with, or jump on top of our old Shihtzu who has no want at all to be his friend..

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Last month, I also had other things I wanted to get done, which went in this order!

  1. Finish editing Tales of Monsters…

This hasn’t happened, but it’s more because I’ve added a new concept in, and I’ve been enjoying it so I wouldn’t say that was a fail in anyway. I really have loved giving this character a whole new ‘little’ adventure, and I think it adds a lot more to him, and also helps plug up some plot holes too.

2. Prep for NaNoWriMo

We’ll just talk a bit about this later…

3. Finish reading ACOTAR

Now, I really like the thought of this book. On paper, it’s a book I would read, I feel like it gives ‘Avry of Kazan’ by Maria Snyder vibes, and I loved that series, but, it’s now the second time, I’ve read it and put it down, and not looked at it again. There’s nothing wrong with it, the writing’s good as far as I can see, but I just can’t get in to it. I want to, just because of all the hype about it. I want to be a part of the Feyre and Reese fan club (even though I have no idea who he is yet), but I don’t know if it’s a reading slump, or the hype killed it for me…

I guess, if anything, the three books will look pretty on my bookshelf! Of which I got a third one of because I had so many charity shop book hauls this month! Make sure you go check out my post to see the pure joys of a charity shop book haul!

However, I have read some stuff this month. Not a lot in any sense of the word, I think it was just two books actually. The first was the new House of Night book Otherworld: Loved by P.C and Kristin Cast, that I have been waiting for, forever! And I will have a review up for this Friday! And A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which I honestly fell in love with, and now I want to watch the movie so bad!

But, this month, as well as Acotar, I also DNF’d two other books, and that was The Hobbit (it’s their birthday month and I thought I could do it, but I couldn’t) and then The Time Travellers Wife, which I really enjoyed, but it was so easy to put down and not pick up. When I read it, I enjoyed it, but then it would be put down, and the magic vanished!

I did make myself a TBR jar, and A Monster Calls, The Hobbit and The Time Travellers Wife all came from it, but I’ve figured that since I read Loved and A Monster Calls during my time off from work, and I didn’t feel like writing because my friend was there, it was much easier to read a book, and I think that’s what I need, time that’s un-interrupted and hopefully, I’ll have a lot more of that in these coming months.

I also got myself Stephen Kings The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, a collection of short stories, and although, work has been hectic this last week and meant that I haven’t had the brain capacity to read, I will finish this book. I love his writing so much, I don’t know why I haven’t read it sooner.

4. Keep up with blog posting

I’ve actually done that this month! Other than not getting some reviews up which I wanted, I’ve stuck with my Wednesday posts and I have even more scheduled! I’ve also finished said reviews (mostly), and it means I should have a book review up for the first two weeks in October!

5. Keep up with the #ShowUp100 Challenge!

So, if anything, I have been doing this. I spent a lot of time editing my WIP, writing blog posts and all that. I haven’t recorded it all, but it’s happened and I probably have perhaps a good twenty-five days under my belt! That’s already more than 0, so I wan that challenge!

And now, on to October!

The month of prep for the dreaded NaNoWriMo, which I’ve participated in numerous time and always lost… But, I think it’s more because I tried to re-write stuff for it, or use old ideas that didn’t have enough substance, or inspiration. I’ve started prepping my story early, and I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen in it. I also decided out of the two story ideas which I would prefer to write! The other story can wait for a minute longer!

The one I’m prepping is a genre I’ve written in, but it’s not my go-to genre. And it’s not the most original idea, but it’s something I want to write about, so why not. Perhaps the motivation and the inspiration will stay that bit longer! And, to help me write this thing, I’ve also created a 30 day insta challenge (for November) that hopefully, will help to keep the inspiration there! (If anyone would like to co-host, give me a message and I’ll add your name on! It’s not been published on insta yet!)

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If anyone want’s to join in, make sure to tag me in your posts!

And let Preptober begin!

Also, this month, tomorrow actually, the 2nd, my little Russian hamster, Mouse, goes to the vets for an operation! It might sound completely delirious to some people, he is only a hamster after all, but he’s my hamster, and I will be heart broken if he dies, so I’m giving him the best chance he has, and making sure he lives that little extra longer! (I don’t know if them words go together or not…)

He has this horrible looking growth on his ear, and it could be cancer, it could be benign, it could even grow back, but what it will do is keep growing – if it’s not removed – and that will throw his balance off and all sorts, and he’s come too far not to get to his first gotcha-day (22nd November). Fingers crossed that the operation goes smoothly and he comes out of it a very contented – drunkified on gas and air – hamster who lives a happy life!

Now, on to them wishes on my October wishlist!

  1. Finish editing TOM
  2. Prep, prep, prep
  3. Take part in at least two readathons
  4. Read Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell (It comes out on the 5th and I can’t wait!)
  5. Finish my Novels page on this blog!

I also forgot to tell you guys some amazing news! I got a new job and I start tomorrow! It’s Monday to Friday, during the days, and I can finally have my life, and my sleep back. I love the people on the night shift at the Odeon, but damn it, I miss my bed and sleeping in the dark! And I have my weekends back! I can go outside during the day and not be tired! I can have readathons guys! I can sit and read a book and not have to worry about having to go to work!

(I’m like screaming silently right now)

But, I don’t finish my night shifts until the 3rd, so my first two days are going to be super! Yay!

Anyhow, hello October, I look forward to all the things you’re going to bring, and all the books I will read, all the prep I will do, and all the leaf piles I can jump in. Hello Fall, hello Autumn, it’s been too long!

I’m also hosting this little #ShadowblackReleaseParty photo prompt challenge because I loved Sebastien de Castells Spellslinger so much (which you can find a review of here), and I’m so excited for this book to be out in the world!

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