January was A MONTH for me. I refuse to go into detail, but it literally got worse than 2020, which, frankly, I thought was hard to accomplish. Unfortunately, most of February and possibly March will be tainted with struggle as well. I only have my fingers crossed for the summer, because there is a limit to my patience, but it is what it is for now. I just genuinely hope you all had a better time.
I also dragged myself through only two books, so, I didn’t read that much, but that’s for now not a real worry:
As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.
I don’t really know what to tell you about the month, because the highs were high and the lows were low. I am so very grateful to have friends and family who keep checking in with me, because sometimes things just aren’t easy and even if we all know we can’t actually do anything about it, venting helps. I am not going to unload here as well, but know that everyone who comes and visits this blog and gives me something to do and distract myself with has my utmost gratitude.
After a long, long pause from writing, I have finally returned to that world again too. I want to keep the WIP close to my heart, but I have jotted down more than 7K words and will be rewriting the ones I have before continuing on. It’s like I am creating a very detailed outline for what I want the readers to know, just to take it all apart and write into something that isn’t just a plain info dump.
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
WandaVision. I have waited so long. I have anticipated that show for what feels like eternity, because Wanda Maximoff has always been one of my favourite characters and she’s finally getting the attention she deserves. I adore that even non-Marvel fans are checking out the show and letting themselves get dragged into the madness. Below you will find the list of reviews I have written for the series so far and I will continue to post weekly, spoiler-filled posts as the remaining episodes release.
Duskwood finally released the new episode!! I have talked about the mobile game before (check it out here) and it’s still one of my favourite things. I feel like this episode wasn’t as intricate as the previous one, but it once again left on a massive cruel cliffhanger. Here’s to hoping it won’t take another two months until we get new content.
I pretended I didn’t have like a billion tags in my drafts and looked one up that was writing related. I found the Writer Tag: 20 Questions on a blog called InkBlots and IceBergs and just thought “this fits the NaNo month!”, so, here we are! Let’s do this!
What type of writing do you do?
I write exclusively fiction. I’m not sure that’s what was really asked for, but to expand a little on it, I write long formatted fiction and every once in a while a short story. However, as much as I enjoy essays and poetry, I could never …
What genres and/or topics do you write about?
A lot of my stories focus on the found family trope and by that I really mean A LOT. I dabble in YA as well as in adult and like to switch it up with Fantasy, SciFi and regular contemporary stories. It’s really a “whatever strikes the mood” kind of thing for me.
How long have you been writing?
As corny as it may sound, but I am pretty sure I’ve been writing since I learned how to write. Even in grade school, I was the one who had to get up in front of the class and read out loud the story I had fabricated and I just never stopped creating ever since.
Are you published?
I am not and I am super undecided whether I want to be.
What was the first story you ever wrote?
That feels impossible to answer! I can, however, talk about the first really long story I attempted to write and even shared with some friends. It was called Elementals and about a group of teens who could each control one element (aka water, fire, air and earth). Their enemies were the Society of the Iron Mask, as they believed that metal was not affected by the element wielders. Little did they know that the main character, who could control the element of earth, also discovered that she could manipulate metals. She also had about three love interests. I was super proud for writing this before Avatar, the Last Airbender aired and everyone wanted element stories.
Why do you write?
To me, writing is like a necessity. When a story or scene or character pops into my head, they won’t let me go until I write them down somewhere. It doesn’t always have to amount to anything, but it would never leave my system unless I jotted it down somewhere.
How do you find time to write?
Honestly, this is something I struggle with a lot. I wish I could write all the time and make it a priority, but a lot of the time I am just tired. And when I am tired, I do not want to write. I also don’t think that I can write anything I’d actually like in those cases.
When and where are the best times to write?
There is no such thing as a bad time to write (unless you are at work and not doing your job or behind a wheel or something else where it’s just not logical to write in that particular moment). Whether it be night or day, if you have an idea and you want to work on it – go for it!
Favorite food/drinks while writing?
No such thing for me. I generally either drink water or tea and nothing else. And I am not really that much of a snacker. Maybe some wallnuts?
Your writing playlist?
I actually do have one. Click here to listen to it!
What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?
I think they approve? I’ve been told that I am not a bad writer (not gonna actually praise myself here), but I am also pretty sure they’d like for me to actually finish something for once.
Here, for example, is something I am currently working on. Judge my writing ability for yourself:
Parts of writing you enjoy the most?
There are few things that I adore more than when a scene just spills out on the age effortlessly. That moment, when choices I made before and was unsure about suddenly make sense and everything fits together like the perfect puzzle pieces they are. Sometimes I really do lay bread crumbs throughout my own story that I will not have realized I put there until I get to a certain moment and it’s pure bliss.
Parts of writing you find challenging?
I often really wish I could connect my brain to my laptop and that the words would just spill out the way I intend them to instead of me actually having to formulate sentences. It’s not always hard, but sometimes some scenes just don’t want to work the way you want them to. And it annoys me to no end.
What do you write with and on?
Technically pretty much anything and everything, but most often my laptop for sure.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
If only I knew … hit me up if you got tips!
How do you motivate yourself to write?
I think my stories motivate me and I have a habit of sharing my stories with people I trust, even the ongoing rough drafts. Hearing their thoughts and reactions to what I write really gives me a boost!
Authors who inspire you as a writer?
This doesn’t really mean that I think I write like them in any way, but here are some people I’d read a grocery list from:
Books that inspire you as a writer?
There’s so many books I appreciate and try to learn from, but here are some that always stay with me:
Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?
I never quite liked the whole “write every day” and “write about what you know” mindset, because I cannot for the life of me write every day and there is way more that I do not know than what I do know. My experiences are still so limited and while I am sure there is value in that, I also need to step out of my little world every once in a while. I write about many things I do not actually know about. Frankly, I write about things I want to know more about sometimes or things I wish for. More often than not, I write about things I have dreamed about.
And that brings me to the advice I got, which is to write down my dreams. To not wait until I have had my morning tea and am fully awake, but to always have a pen and notebook ready at my bedside table and just jot down those ideas my brain fabricated in the night. Alternately, if it’s too dark to write yet and I am super groggy, I will make a quick note on my phone.
Writing goals this year
Finishing just about anything would be great!
Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this month? Are you currently working on a story? Feel free to steal this tag if you want to!
I meant to do something else today, but this seemed oddly more fitting for today. You know that I enjoy doing Write Tags every now and then and with NaNoWriMo RIGHT THERE and it being Halloween and all, it just works? The Spooky Scary Write Tag was created by Emma @Emma T. Fink but I saw it over at Caro’s blog. Therefore, this is once again not a creation of my own, but I am so, so looking forward to doing this anyway!
A lot of the questions are general ones about writing, however, a couple are about a specific WIP. In those cases, I will be answering for the Football WIP! I haven’t talked about it a whole lot, but most recently mentioned it in the All Hallows Write Tag. I haven’t changed the blurb since, but I have worked on it mentally … you’ll still have to contend with this one though:
After a devastating loss, teenager Ivy moves to her estranged family in a small town in Texas. All she wants is to get through school as fast as possible and start over away from everything and everyone she knows, but this town has other plans. She never intended to get mixed up in the lives of the local Football team, who are worshiped like heroes in the community, but soon their drama becomes hers. If she can face her grief and guilt, she might just be able to find a new family in them.
1.Ghost // Have you ever originally put a character/scene/theme in the book and then later taken it out?
Character – no
Scene – yes
Theme – yes
I usually tend to stick with characters, although I will not hesitate to alter their personality/appearance/general role in the story. But when it comes to scenes and themes, I am often less attached.
2. Bat // Most misunderstood character in your WIP?
I feel like that has to be Taylor. He has this carefree attitude and seems like nothing in the world fazes him, but it does. His bad boy/charmer image is just a way to hide what’s happening on the inside for him. In his heart, he’s a good guy. He’s just really hesitant to attach to anyone.
3. Jack-O-Lantern // What’s your most common source of inspiration to write?
I can find inspiration in almost anything and everything! Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s a theme in a TV show that I would like to explore on my own. Very often it’s just daydreams that get stuck in my head and need further development or I will never ever get rid of them again.
4. Zombie // Preferred form of writerly fuel? Coffee, tea, etc.
5. Vampire // Cheesiest trope that made it into your novel?
Okay, this is actually from the only novel I finished, as I don’t want to talk about WIPs in that much detail, but … Break Up Buddy literally ended with a proposal on live television. It was Hallmark-level-cheese perfection!
6. Spider // What’s a character in your WIP that’s fine from afar, but you would NOT want to interact with if they ever got close?
I … don’t know? Especially in the Football WIP, I don’t have any “villains” per se. There’s definitely conflict, but the characters are all just humans with flaws and mistakes. I don’t think I would really mind being close-ish to any of them. I might imagine Laurie stressing me out … let’s go with that if I have to answer.
7. Frankenstein’s Monster // Ever combined two characters into one/split one character into two?
Dang, my answers are so boring, but … no. I don’t think that option ever even crossed my mind.
8.Skeleton // Best tips for adding in character baggage without info-dumping?
Ha! I didn’t know I was supposed to offer actual helpful insight. Uhm, I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with that every now and then. I like to hint at past trauma/baggage in dialogue and actions until a certain reveal becomes inevitable. That way you prepare the reader that something is coming, even if they don’t yet have the full picture and/or understand it all. I’m not saying that always works and very much depends on the baggage you intend to include, but I definitely prefer behavioral clues rather than just lengthy explanations myself.
9. Cat // What’s a polarizing writing/bookish opinion that you have?
I don’t believe that you HAVE to or SHOULD write every day. There’s definitely people who it’s helpful for to write on a regular basis, but if you are not feeling it one bit and hate what you create because you forced yourself to write, what’s the point? I’d rather take a break and clear my head, maybe find new inspiration and then get back to it with all the more motivation. Obviously, that’s tied with a bit of self discipline and making sure a short break doesn’t turn into weeks and months of inactivity. But to each their own!
10. Demon // Most frequent writing distraction?
TV shows! I think I can handle not checking social media all the time, but when I get enamored with a TV show, I forget all other standing responsibilities and live in that world in my head. Especially my own stories take a back seat then, even if they shouldn’t.
What did you think of this tag? Could you relate to my answers? Let’s chat!
Soooo, I am bringing this back! As a lot of you know, I have created a number of write tags myself. They are incredibly helpful in delving into the mindset of your characters as you answer questions on behalf of them. I’ve tried to create them for various occasions and seasons, but the All Hallows Write Tag is not a creation of my own. It took me a while to find the original creator (forgive me for not tagging them the first time I did this!), but you can see Sam Kassé‘s post here.
Provide a short description of your story! I was debating about which project to talk about today, because as you know there are many! However, the one I am most focused on right now and am trying to prep for NaNoWriMo some more is the Football WIP (yes, it still doesn’t have a title). And since it doesn’t have a title, it also doesn’t have a polished blurb. Sorry about what comes next: After a devastating loss, teenager Ivy moves to her estranged family in a small town in Texas. All she wants is to get through school as fast as possible and start over away from everything and everyone she knows, but this town has other plans. She never intended to get mixed up in the lives of the local Football team, who are worshiped like heroes in the community, but soon their drama becomes hers. If she can face her grief and guilt, she might just be able to find a new family in them.
Don’t use the same character for more than 3 answers!
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
It’s Halloween night! What is your protagonist dressed up as?
I think the whole Football team would get an easy group costume. They’d want something easy that wouldn’t require massive effort (at least for the majority of them), so, I say they’d go as Football player zombies.
As for Ivy, the real protagonist and narrator, I don’t think she would go all out now that she has moved to Eden. Back in Portland, with her friends, she put in more effort, but not now. She’d likely get a cheap wig, put some fake blood on a dress she has no use for anymore and go as victim #27, just so Landon (her 10-year-old cousin) wouldn’t be too bummed when she took him trick or treating.
Who in your cast refuses to dress up and shows up at the Halloween party without a costume?
I honestly can’t see anyone downright refusing to dress up. Maybe the adults would only put on a hat or something, but out of the characters that I actively mention on the regular, they’d all do something.
Which character wears the most outrageous costume, and what would it be?
My mind immediately went to Isaac! He is a quirky dude and I could totally see him going as a demigorgan or some other ridiculously intricate monster. He’d be way overdressed, sweating and still dancing his ass off anyway at a Halloween party.
On Halloween, werewolves, vampires, and zombies are on the prowl. Which of your characters gets caught in their clutches, and which creature do they subsequently turn into?
The whole theme of my novel is that Ivy gets caught up in something she had no intention of getting caught up in, so … her? And just because I said earlier that the Football team would go collectively as zombies, I’m gonna bring this full circle and say they turn into real zombies and then turn her!
Who wins the contest for best costume?
Even though I feel like Isaac would deserve it due to putting so much effort in, it’s probably more of a popularity contest in the end and someone like Gina (who is the sweetest and head cheerleader) would get it. She was dressed as Liz Ortecho in her Crashdown uniform, because she thinks they look alike and aliens are fun but not scary.
Who hands out toothbrushes to the trick and treaters?
Laurie – 100%!! But Hal would be right there with her and sneak the kids something else before they left, but not candy, cause he did not think ahead of getting any. He knows she means well, but he can’t just let his wife sour the mood.
Which two of your characters decide to pair up and do an angel/devil costume together?
Liv and Dusty? Carter and Taylor? I don’t knoooow. The more fun version would definitely be Taylor and Carter. They are best buds, and Carter is the town’s golden boy, whereas Taylor is the screw up in comparison. They could switch roles for a night or embrace their perceived images. Whatever floats their boat.
Someone is too scared to even attend the Halloween party. Who is it?
Dustin might be an option here, but not because he is scared of Halloween, and instead because he is having a tough time with the social judgment going on in town. He just doesn’t want to expose himself to all the stares and whispers, my poor baby boy.
Who overdoses on Halloween candy and ends up sick?
Lando – cause he is a kid and has no restraint!
Which character is most likely to place a curse/hex on someone and who would they curse?
Right now, I just imagine Liv inviting all the girls over and they’d get into some sort of Light as a Feather kind of trouble and … it wouldn’t be intentional, but Liv would definitely be the one who messed up something that would set off the trouble.
I TAG THEE
I don’t know who of my lovely writing buddies is currently up for the challenge, so this tag is up for grabs! Don’t hesitate to link back to my post, so I can see your answers too!
If you are interested in more write tags, here’s a list of the ones I created:
So, as you may have noticed this past month, I wasn’t super active on the blog. That mostly had to do with the art challenge I was participating in (more about that later). It all swallowed up so much time, I could neither read nor blog very much.
ad ONE book. It was called A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris and the reason I did not review it on here was because I did not enjoy it. Despite it being told in a very fairytale-like fashion, which is usually very much in my wheelhouse, I ended up giving it 2 stars only. I neither liked the characters nor the message of the book and I was very unsure about a white author using this to also talk about the topic of racism. Something about it all just felt off.
I don’t feel worried about my reading challenge though! I am still three books ahead, because I made sure to set a very achievable goal for myself.
As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! I don’t have any reviews this time around, but normally you can find them by clicking on the titles in the text!
As mentioned above, but just in case you missed it, I did a little art challenge for the entirety of July. It wasn’t with different tasks every day, but rather establishing a routine and being consistent with your output. I set mine for drawing AND writing every single day, while friends joined me along the way to just do one of the two or something they wanted to work on. It was really motivating and I got a lot done!
If you want to know some details, you can read up on my half-way check-in and the entire recap. However, here are my favourite art pieces I made during the time:
Having finished this art challenge and having gotten some of my creative spirits up and moving again, I decided to start a new unrelated challenge. I am currently doing Chloe Ting’s 25-day-hourglass-workout. It’s already day 11 and I am actually having fun with it. Don’t think that I can do all the exercises at high intensity the way Chloe can, but I was happy that my lockdown workouts have prepared me for it to some extent and helped me with finding alternatives to exercises that made sense when I couldn’t do the suggested versions. So far, there is no weight difference, but my clothes definitely fit differently! I am super intrigued to see results.
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
I could say Stargirl again and it would not be a lie. But there is only one more episode and I think I will have to move on from it after that … maybe … probably … hopefully? That show took up a lot of my mental space.
I did also watch Outer Banks this last month and kind of get the hype, because I keep thinking about it and totally can’t wait for the next season. I feel a bit betrayed, because youtube ship videos made me believe that Kiara and JJ were gonna be a thing and that just wasn’t the case? But now that’s what I want, neigh, NEED! Like, I did not make these videos, but watch them and tell me there’s nothing there!?!?
As almost per usual, I’ve unfortunately still not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!!
I posted about this challenge at the half-way point already (read more about it here), but now the challenge is done and I just wanted to recap what all went down and share some more of my art!
I am happy to announce that I have managed to write more than 13K words this past month. I know that it’s not nearly as much as many reach during their NaNoWriMo challenge or camp sessions, but it catapults me to over 35K words for my current WIP (a YA contemporary), which means I am more than halfway through what I want the first draft to be in terms of length.
I will admit that I skipped out on writing during a couple of the last days of the challenge. I was just so stuck with where I wanted to go and wanted to do some plotting. I really wasn’t sure what to do in the last third of the story, to make sure it actually had tension and wasn’t just trickling along. Therefore, I plotted, which is writing-related, but had no word count to speak of.
I drew a total of 14 more drawings since the last update. I followed my own advice and didn’t overdo it by trying to complete a drawing per day. Sometimes I would do the line work on one day and then the colors on the next. It definitely helped me feel less stressed about it, while I was still doing something daily.
I think I already covered quite a lot of the realizations last time and they still sound true to me. Doing everything all the time is impossible, external validation helps and so on, but I will try and tell you a bit more anyway.
Forcing yourself to do something every day will yield results, but not necessarily good ones. I am happy I did the challenge and it really got my creative juices flowing again, but there are days where you just don’t have it in you. I still ended up doing my writing (or writing related activity) and drawing every single day, but the results weren’t always something I was happy with. Accepting that not everything will be perfect is another thing you need to learn as an artist, but it’s still frustrating when things don’t work. Just make sure that doesn’t deter you.
It’s perfectly okay to draw something because you know it has an audience. While I didn’t stick to just Stargirl portraits in the end, the cast and characters still made up the majority of what I drew. I just knew, and clearly saw in my stats, that these posts worked a lot better and make up the posts that perform the best. The fact that the cast likes to interact with that stuff helps too, of course. So, I don’t see why I shouldn’t lean into doing something, even if it seems repetitive in terms of motif, knowing that there’s a group of people who will hype it up.
Try to make yourself do something new and get out of your comfort zone! It’s obvious that I only did portraits, however, I leaned more into doing pencil instead of watercolor work again, which wasn’t something I felt too comfortable with earlier. And I also started experimenting again with gold/silver foil and am really happy with the results.
This time it’s really a mix of things! There’s Jeanine Mason from Roswell, New Mexico, cast and characters from Stargirl (where I often made sure to focus on characters/scenes that were important for the airing episode) as well as Bess from Little Voice, the weeping monk from Cursed and two self-portraits (one experimental and one more traditional).
I hope you enjoyed this look into my challenge! Feel free to ask me anything about it! In hindsight, I think it was more about being consistent than making progress with my skill set, although I think I came into my style some more as well.
One of my favourite blogger buddies, The Orang-utan Librarian, has tagged me for the Never Have I Ever Writing Tag. I read their answers and it was great to read and I implore you to check out the post yourself, that is, after you read mine, because this is going to be fun!
Ha! That’s a good one!! I started about 15 different stories and finished one of them. My track record in that department is abysmal.
. . . written a story completely by hand.
I … don’t think so? I think I started stories and maybe I’ve written a short story here or there by hand, but definitely not a full one. I already get annoyed with regular editing, I can’t imagine having to transfer everything to my laptop first.
. . . changed tenses midway through a story.
Not on purpose. I think, sometimes, when I return to a story after a long time, I have to get back into the tense maybe and mess it up a bit. But never on purpose.
. . . not researched anything before starting a story.
What is research? No, in all honesty, I probably should do research sometimes, but I love winging it and then despairing in the middle of the story because I have no clue what I am doing. I really do the bare minimum sometimes …
. . . changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.
Nope, not the protagonist’s name, but definitely some side characters.
. . . written a story in a month or less.
YES! The one and only story I ever finished writing – Break Up Buddy – was one I did during NaNoWriMo. I was so proud to have finished it in a month and I still am. I admire people that just throw out stories in days or weeks (and there are more than you might think).
. . . fallen asleep while writing.
I don’t think so?
. . . corrected someone’s grammar irl / online.
Guilty as charged. I’m not running around correcting everyone all the time, but sometimes I just couldn’t not say anything? Most of the time I just keep it to myself, especially since I make plenty of mistakes myself.
. . . yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.
Like … “started writing in all caps unrelated to the story, because I was frustrated with myself”-all caps? That’s not really something I do?
. . . used “I’m writing” as an excuse.
I just don’t think that people leave me alone or listen to me when I say that I am writing. At least I know a certain someone who will interrupt me like a thousand times, even if I have made it clear that I was trying to focus on writing. Guess that excuse doesn’t fly with people in my life?
. . . killed a character who was based on someone I know in real life.
I’m not even sure I’ve killed a character on page yet, so that’s a no? But also, no one is based on someone I personally know. On actors? That’s a whole different story … but not actual real life friends and/or enemies.
. . . used pop culture references in a story.
These questions should be so easy to answer, but I really have to think hard about them. I am pretty sure there must have been some kind of reference, right? Something to indicate a time period? I just literally can’t think of a single example …
. . . written between the hours of 1am and 6am.
. . . drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.
I don’t drink coffee ever, so that’s a clear no from my side. (Tea all the way!)
. . . written down dreams to use in potential novels.
I actually have a designated journal for my dreams. They are wild sometimes, people! I still like the timey-wimey one where Adam Driver turns out to be my son, but I am technically younger than him? We shall, however, never mention the dolphin story again. That was borderline body horror and that’s not my genre …
. . . published an unedited story on the internet / Wattpad / blog.
Yes, yes and yes? There used to be this website called figment, where I posted a lot of my really, really old stuff. But also recently, totally!
. . . procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.
Absolutely! I have to agree with the Orang-utan Librarian here, I sometimes even spaced out in class to write my story. And honestly, even at work from time to time (imagine me doing retail work and there being zero customers for over an hour).
. . . typed so long that my wrists hurt.
That happens so easily, but also, I just don’t have the best set up for writing.
. . . spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.
Thank the heavens that never happened!!! THE HORROR!
. . . forgotten to save my work / draft.
No? I think I forgot to save something for school a couple times, but never the really important stuff aka my stuff.
. . . finished a novel.
As in, written a beginning, middle and end to a story? Yes. As in, edited the story to make it presentable and potentially marketable? No. no no no.
. . . laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.
. . . cried while writing a scene.
I was close, but I don’t think so?
. . . created maps of my fictional worlds.
YES! But funny enough, not for a fantasy world, but rather a contemporary novel instead. I just printed out maps from Google maps from places that I’ve been to and liked/lived at. It was hilarious in hindsight.
. . . researched something shady for a novel.
I think I researched some illnesses and symptoms. Or “what to do when someone has a seizure”, but that’s not really all that shady, is it?
For those of you who missed the announcement, I have been challenging myself to draw and write every single day starting July 1st. It was very important to me to lean more into my creative side and to push myself even when I wasn’t feeling it all the time. Having now surpassed the half-way mark, I thought it was time to check in on the progress etc.
I have decided to keep writing my Football WIP! Coincidentally, July 1st was also the start of Camp NaNoWriMo, which meant that I had the perfect tool to track my writing with their website. Honestly, my motivation for drawing was much higher than for writing, because I stopped at a tough chapter back in May. But I still wrote every single day and made a whooping progress of 7,364 words in total so far!
As intended with this challenge, I have also managed to draw every single day. I completed 12 drawings (most of them full watercolor portraits) and sketched with pencil but not in way I would like to showcase the other days.
There’s a couple things I learned from this so far and I really would like to share as well! It will also be fun to see if I still think the same once I have completed the 30 days.
I can’t do everything all the time! This was probably the hardest one to come to terms with. If I draw every single day and if I write too, that amounts to the time a regular person would spend at a full time job. As much as I wanted to read all the books, write all the blog posts and watch all the movies and TV shows, it’s impossible to do it all. There’s not enough time and quite frankly also not brain power/creative energy to get to every single thing.
While I am fairly self-motivated, external validation helps! I would definitely be lying if I said that validation from others doesn’t help. I really do appreciate every single like and comment, because it has helped me so much in keeping up with this challenge. Also, I went from 160 followers to 200+ in two weeks even though I have had my account for years, so this is just mind-boggling to me (click here if you want to follow my art insta too).
I will post my drawings at the end of this post, but you will see that they are mostly exclusively about the cast from Stargirl. This is not just because I adore the show (which I do), but because the cast is incredibly friendly and appreciative of fan work. It’s so lovely to do this and get the recognition from the people you drew.
Some things won’t ever look the way I want them to, and that’s okay! Having done this challenge, it has helped me so much with accepting that not everything I put out into the world needs to be perfect or flawless. Some things don’t work out the way I want them to, that’s fine and I just need to let it go. So often, people still appreciated my work, even when I didn’t love it. (I’m being serious here, I maybe really really like three of the drawings from the past two weeks …….)
Writing is hard (duh!), but editing exists for a reason. I was always someone who was very focused on working on a single project, until things got hard and I dropped it. I also always wrote very linearly, but not this time. I was really super stuck, but I didn’t confine myself to just keep writing a chapter I disliked, but rather wrote other scenes I was looking forward to. The chapter I finally managed to conclude and still don’t like won’t deter me any more either, because that is what editing is for. Just because I don’t currently know how to fix things doesn’t mean that I won’t ever know.
As I’ve already mentioned, all of these drawings are from the show Stargirl or its cast. (I am pretty sure I will do a full currently watching post about the show once I am done with the entire season, because I really do love everything about it.) There is only one more drawing that I didn’t include, because it was a private one I drew for a family member and don’t think it should be online.
What do you think about my challenge and my progress? Do you like my art? I am happy to chat about it here!
Something about time is just not consistent this year. Whereas the first couple months felt like years, April was gone in the blink of an eye. I guess we all got used to our current situations and that way it didn’t feel so endless? I don’t know … it’s just a working theory. Either way, April still gave me plenty of time to get back into my reading groove and I’m now halfway through my Goodreads challenge, which makes me super happy!
Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer (5 stars)
This is a beautiful and very personal poetry collection, where the poet talks to the Goddess Aphrodite about trauma and love and societal expectations and I adored it. It felt very intimate and I marked so many passages, but I don’t know how to review poetry really other than saying “THIS MADE ME FEEL SOMETHING”, so that’s why you didn’t hear much about it from me.
Deadpool Issue #20 (5 stars)
You can read this issue for free here. Trigger warning for suicide!
As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.
I went into this month thinking I could do … a lot? I soon realised that even if I was motivated, there were definite limitations. The more I wanted to do, the less I actually did and so I focused on a couple things. I started working out on the daily and have missed maybe one or two days this last month. I don’t do hours upon hours of workout, but I do feel better exercising a little bit and am starting (if very slowly so) to see some changes in my body.
Another thing I focused on was getting back into writing. I initially wanted to continue working on the #witchyWIP for Camp NaNoWriMo, but ended up not feeling it anymore. Instead, I started a completely new project where I have recently hit 12K words. It’s a YA contemporary story with a slight focus on Football, but also family drama and just all sorts of relationships (go friendships!). There is no pitchable blurb yet and I feel different about this project. You know me, I usually blab about my projects all day long, but somehow I feel like keeping this one close to my chest … at least for now.
Having been more into writing taught me that I cannot consume a lot of other media (books and TV and movies) or it will hinder my own creativity. I tend to get lost in all those fictional worlds and when that happens, it’s really hard to pull myself out of it and work on my own stuff. Which is what I want to do! So, I think all things considered, I did fairly well with posts and reviews, even though I felt I couldn’t read/watch as much as I sometimes wanted to.
However, something I tried to do more again to not get out of practice entirely is draw. When I have to pick my own reference pic, I will spend hours without getting anywhere, because I am super indecisive. Instead, I turned to my friends on Twitter and asked for characters they wanted to have drawn. If you have Twitter as well, feel free to comment with a pic of your fave. I won’t promise to draw anything, but I am trying to make it a more regular occasion and will turn to this pinned tweet for inspo!
I want to work on my drawing (both pencil & watercolor) some more! If you have a TV/film chatacter you love, drop a pic (the higher the resolution the better) you'd like me to draw in reply to this tweet! 😊🖌✏
(I won't be able to do everything, but I'll select 1 pic/week)
The drawing I most enjoyed doing so far was of Melonie Diaz as Mel Vera from the Charmed Reboot!
But I am slowly but surely running out of watercolor paper (it’s ordered, but will take some time. I only have THREE pieces of paper left), which made me turn to practicing pencil drawings as well. Here is a grumpy Nick Miller from New Girl.
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
In turns of media consumption my two favourite things are very easy to identify as Friday Night Lights and the movie The Half of It! However, I talked about FNL at length in a separate post and do intend to talk about The Half of It in an upcoming one. So, instead, let’s check out some awesome content around the blogosphere:
Sophie @Me and Ink talked about some deliciously morally grey characters and I was all here for it!
As I mentioned last week, I kind of want Friday to be the designated day for tags. However, I never said it had to be a book tag, so, I am introducing to you the Quarantine Write Tag! (How terribly timely, right?)
In the past, I have created several posts of this sort, such as the Winter Is Here, Valentine’s Day, Life Choices and Milestones Write Tag. Basically, I wanted to provide a fun exercise for fellow writers to explore their characters some more, even if it meant placing them in an entirely unrelated setting to their story. I always quite enjoyed them and if you think this could be something for your project, please feel free to do this as well! This time, I wanted to place our characters in the middle of this terrible pandemic. How would they act and who is most likely to do XY – that’s what the questions below are for!
Now, you may wonder why I am doing this, especially since I haven’t done a write tag on this blog in years. Oh well, I decided to join Camp NaNoWriMo on a whim to continue working on my #witchyWIP. A couple of people already know the story, but it has been put on hold for over a year. Right now, I am posting the chapters I have worked on, on this site! It’s a “secret” WordPress blog that I have created to work on my writing and still share it with people. The posts are currently password protected, but if you are curious about it, just let me know and I will find a way to get you that password! (I swear, I am not super selective about who gets one or not, I just want to have some overview over who accesses the posts for now!)
Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post! (I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
I still struggle with having a polished version of the blurb for this #witchyWIP. I mean, I don’t even have a title yet … but let’s try:When 6-year-old August enters Rosalie’s life, she has no idea just how much the girl will change her entire family’s fate. Being the last one of a powerful but destructive magical lineage, she links herself to Rosa’s youngest son, binding them even beyond this life. A scandal for the entire community! But what really happened to August and will they ever uncover all the mysteries surrounding her without getting destroyed themselves? Only a tale that spans decades will tell.
This is pretty focused on main characters but don’t hesitate to use several characters for the answers if you want to! (We want to get to know as many of your characters as possible)
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Which character is most likely to help out their elderly and vulnerable neighbors during the crisis? OR which of your characters has an essential job (or would have if they didn’t live in a fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi/whatever different world) and brave the outside on the daily?
August and Josh are sort of a package deal on this one, which makes it hard, because you need to keep a secure distance from one another in public. But August would probably take care of the neighbors, while Josh would work as a nurse or in a care facility. I could totally see that being a profession he’d be interested in.
Who is your go to character for TV and movie recommendations? (As they most likely spend all their time binge-watching shows already!)
A character that may seem out of left field, but Cole. He’s Mirabella’s husband and they both take August into their home and eventually become her parents. Cole is a quiet soul as well as a homebody and would enjoy talking about nothing but TV.
Tell us about the first character who would go slightly mad staying inside for too long?
Again, I have to mention two people here. Willow and Wren, the twins, are a force of nature and not to be tamed. Having to stay inside sounds like torture to them.
How does your most extrovert and your most introvert character handle the crisis?
Who IS my most extrovert character? Maybe Rosalie? She’d hate this altogether, because she needs to stay busy like her twin girls. Usually she jets from one appointment to the next and would therefore have a hard time coming to terms with this. All other possibly ambivert to introvert characters would be fine … unless they live with Rosalie and the twins. That just sounds stressful to me.
Which of your characters is a prepper and would have been ready if this had been a zombie apocalypse?
Mirabella likes to have things planned in life, so I presume she’d have a plan for this as well. You know, just in case!
Who got panicked and bought everything in bulks (despite reassurances that markets would not run out)?
I actually can’t see anyone panicking like that. They are all witches, they’d handle this somehow else … right?
If there is a character who might be hard to convince that the virus and its dangers are real, who would it be? Why?
I think Rosalie is stubborn and as a witch she’d probably think that they’d be immune or find some workaround. BUT caution is always better and I’d like to think she wouldn’t endanger anyone, she’s not a villain after all.
Who would organise all the zoom-group chats to make sure their friends and family stayed connected?
My pure puppy boy Josh would be in charge of that! Not only is he good with human gadgets, but he just likes it when everyone gets along and stays in touch.
BONUS: Make an aesthetic of your main character bundling up at home!
I TAG THEE
Please, do NOT feel obliged to do this!! I just thought I’d get the ball rolling my tagging a couple folks:
I hope you enjoyed this tag and that it offered some sort of brief entertainment. If you liked it, please don’t hesitate to share it, so that a lot of people will discover it and let us in on their own stories to tell!