“Writer Girl Summer” is finally at its end, and so is my blog hiatus I was on. My entire summer was pretty much just a caffeine-fueled writing frenzy of utter madness. It feels really damn good though to have completed my (very rough) first draft. I am so ready to take a much-needed break from writing to let the story breathe, and to regain some of my sanity before I go on to tackle the dreaded second draft.
Luckily for me, Halloween is just around the corner, so I’m going to use the full month of October to recover from my crazy writing binge and to just focus on doing all the things I love to indulge in during spooky season. We’re talking horror movies galore, catching up on some creepy video games, reading scary stories, fall baking, etc. I’m also planning to participate in the 2021 Corpsetober Art Challenge, so I’m really excited to get back into drawing. I really didn’t draw much this summer since I was so focused on completing the first draft of my book, so I can’t wait to get back at it and practice some more with my iPad Pro. It was kind of torturous just seeing it collect dust all summer, but I’m glad I remained focused.
I can’t wait to start catching up on everyone’s blogs over the next several days, and see what you guys have been up to while I was away. In the mean time, how was your summer?? What are you most excited for this fall?
Oof. Deadlines are ROUGH. As I previously mentioned, this summer is all about finishing the first draft of the book I’ve been plotting/writing. Now that I’m in the home stretch (just 37 days left to go) I really need to shift my focus into high gear and remain focused. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to take the remainder of this summer off from my blog and devote just about all of my attention and free time to making my self-imposed deadline.
I’ll still be contributing to Sugar and Scream during this time though, so I won’t be totally removed from WP. Here’s hoping I make it back with a completed first draft AND my sanity intact come the fall. 😉
My mom and I like to try to get together for coffee once a week, specifically Biggby frozen coffees with extra espresso in them because we are absolute fiends for caffeine. Well, as of late, our girls’ day coffee adventures have only gotten better with the addition of a third member of our “Treat Yo’ Self” squad, that being my parents’ new resident fluff monster that they got a few months back. (Like this dog needed any more reasons to love going for car rides.) 😛
Update #2: Pumpkin Babies
Our pumpkin patch is already fast at work producing flowers and pumpkin babies for the fall. I think this pumpkin patch will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because I love pumpkins, but also because the first harvest was for our wedding last October. ❤ Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!
Update #3: Writing Progress
Writer Girl Summer is going really well. 🙂 I’ve mostly been cruising along right on track to have my first draft complete by the first day of fall, so here’s hoping I can keep this pace up. *fingers crossed*
Update #4: Reading, Or Rather, a Lack There Of
I didn’t get much reading done in July, mostly due to a misplaced charger for my Kindle that has thankfully since been found. Also, when I wasn’t writing, let’s be honest, I was mostly watching a ton of anime. While my kindle charger was misplaced, I had to take a break on finishing Pet Sematary for my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes, I started reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.
Update #5: Drawing
Other than completing the Drawing Shark Week art challenge I participated in, I didn’t get a whole lot of drawing time in since this summer my focus is mostly on writing. Buuuut I’m hoping to at least squeeze in a couple Fan Art Friday posts this month since my last one was *GASP* all the way back in mid-May??! I can’t even keep up with time these days it seems. 2021 is just barreling by at breakneck speed and it’s all I can even do to try to remember what day it is half the time. Back to the point though, it will be good to get some more practice in with Procreate and my iPad Pro. I’m still loving it, I just have soooo much to learn!
Update #6: Watching
July mostly had me been binge-watching the first 4 seasons of My Hero Academia with my husband, but I also started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on my own. We also enjoyed the 3 week Netflix event for the Fear Street trilogy of movies. I think we may have squeezed a couple other movies in as well, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is Gunpowder Milkshake.
Update #7: Baking
For my husband’s dad’s birthday I made a triple chocolate cake. My husband also really enjoys these honey cornbread muffins I make so I made some of those which we enjoyed with honey cinnamon butter. (SO good.) I also have an abundance of frozen blueberries I want to use up, so this weekend I made blueberry muffins. Aaaand if you follow the Sugar and Scream blog that C&M and I host together, you’ll have seen some pics of freshly baked bone-shaped snickerdoodle cookies we posted about in early July.
What shenanigans did you get up to in July? Any big plans for August? Hoping you all have an excellent month! 😀
Ughhhh, work has been quite a doozy lately, to the point that I was in complete and utter zombie-mode each day when I got home. This weekend I decided to just indulge in some of the more relaxing things that make me happy. A Friday night drink/video chat with my amazing BFF Cupcakes & Machetes, some baking (Chocolate Coconut Cream Cake and a nice honey beer bread), playing lots of Super Mario 3D World on the Switch with my awesome husband while our adorable cat Bailey cuddles up with us, binge-reading a bunch of the Attack on Titan volumes of the manga which have been on my TBR list forever, and just enjoying the time off. I know next week will be just as tiring at work due to us being extremely short-staffed at the moment, but I’ll worry about that come Monday. For now, I’m just enjoying myself and relaxing. ❤
I hope you guys are all finding your own ways to unwind and find some joy. What’s your go-to boredom vanquisher these days? 🙂
Oof, March has been an absolute whirlwind of a month. It’s been quite the mix of high and low points. Registering for classes, family health emergencies, the sudden loss of a wonderful friend who taught me so much about life and brought so much joy to everyone who knew her, house and yard projects and repairs, and many other things have had me a bit stressed these past few weeks to say the least.
I did manage to squeeze in a bit of practice on my art tablet, taking some old sketches and outlining and coloring them digitally as seen below:
Started playing Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U with Mr. Moth so that’s been a fun distraction from some of the more stressful stuff that’s been going on lately.
I think the only thing I baked this month was a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Soooo good! ❤
I haven’t finished reading anything new at all this month. My mood has been all over the place, which also means my reading preferences have been just as erratic. I did start reading Leigh Bardugo’s The Lives of Saintsand re-reading Shadow & Bone in preparation for the Netflix show coming out. It’s been like 7 or 8 years I think since I read S&B so I was definitely due for a refresher before the show starts. I always think it’s interesting to see the differences between a show or movie and its source material. I also started reading this big ol’ Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology that had belonged to my grandma back in the day. It’s something I have read bits and pieces from but never completed reading from start to finish so I’d like to finally do that. I’m not in a rush though, It’s a lot of information that I’d rather take my time and read here and there rather than all at once.
All the critters are doing well. Luna the baby hedgehog at my work is getting sooo big. She’s “quilling” right now so she’s a little grumpy at times but the Aveeno Oatmeal baths we’ve given her have helped a lot. Quilling is basically a process that can take up to 6 months of age where she will slowly be losing her baby quills here and there and having them replaced with her big girl quills. Here’s a pic of her after her first Oatmeal bath. She was so happy and relaxed afterward.
Bailey’s been living her best life, as always. 😛 Mr. Moth got her one of those little flower-shaped kitty water fountains and she LOVES it. It’s funny because he wasn’t exactly Team Cat before Bailey and I lived with him and he’s since turned into this Turbo Cat Dad, spoiling her rotten and researching things to make sure she is the happiest kitty she can be. ❤
My parents new fluff monster is also doing really well. 🙂 He had his first vet appointment and got a clean bill of health. He did really well while he was there and so he got a special “Shit Happens” treat from the doggy bakery. Kind of appropriate since they needed a stool sample from him for his first visit. Haha He’s such a happy boy and has already brought so much joy to my parents’ home with his goofy personality. The neighborhood squirrels may not like him but we adore him. ❤ We’ve been working on tricks and he currently knows “Sit”, “Lay Down” and “Speak”. He’s also really good at solving dog treat puzzles. ^_^
That’s pretty much it for my updates for March. I tried to focus on the more positive stuff for my post but it was definitely a month with its fair share of worry and tears. Hopefully April will be better. 🙂 How was your March? Oh, yeah, and Happy Spring! 😀
I can’t believe it’s already almost March! February was a busy and awesome month full of surprises so I figured it was time to get my butt back on the blog and do an update post. 🙂 I just got my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine this past Tuesday and I’m so happy and grateful. (Even if it did really knock me on my ass the day after with sore muscles/joints, fatigue, little waves of nausea, and a headache). After that, I was back to my normal self though and I was just thankful to be able to get it, so no regrets. Thanks, Science! ❤
I also started the process towards going to school for graphic design. Michigan has a new program it has rolled out to get people over the age of 25 back in school to get their associate degree by covering their tuition. It’s such a great opportunity and was too good of an offer to pass up, so I’ll be starting classes this summer. I’ve even already got my college ID! One of my co-workers is already taking the exact program at the same college and has had great things to say about it, so I’m really excited. Pluuuus, I’ll get to share in this experience with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetessince she is going back to college as well starting in the spring. 😀 Different schools/classes, but we’re both excited to geek out over school stuff together so that will make it even better all the way around!
Other fun surprises this month came in the form of two new fuzzy and prickly friends. A girl I went to school with before was recently trying to find a home for a good dog in a sad and tough situation so he wouldn’t have to go to a shelter so long story short, my parents opened their home to him and now have a lovable, goofy, clumsy, fluff monster to call their own. ❤ My other new little animal friend came in the form of a lovely little hedgehog at my work. She’s so sweet and cute and the participants at my job just absolutely adore her, as do I. 🙂
It wouldn’t be an update post on THIS blog if I didn’t mention recent reads, hobbies, and baking. I didn’t have as much time for those things as I’d have hoped, buuuut I did bake this delicious Honey-Drizzled Cinnamon Chai Cake:
In reading news, I happily read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book this month. It was such a treat. Kind of a nice and cozy, comfort read. 🙂 I also started reading Leigh Bardugo’s The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse) and, for a refresher before the Netflix adaptation comes out, I’m re-reading/listening to Shadow and Bone. I just watched the official trailer yesterday and I. Am. PUMPED. ❤
Well, those are my updates for the month! 🙂 I also did some writing and more practice with digital art but not as much as I had planned due to all the other stuff going on. All in all, though, February was a pretty good month. I hope you guys all had a good go of it as well. ❤ Looking forward to catching up on some blog posts I’ve missed but please fill me in on any excitement I have missed in the mean time. What were your highlights of the past few weeks?
Hey, there, all you majestic beasties! ❤ Can you believe November is nearly over? I hope you’re all well and finding ways to keep entertained and happy. 🙂 I’m back at home, my work being one of the places that has closed during our state’s three week partial closure. I’ve tried starting multiple posts while I’ve been off and nothing sticks. I’m in this foggy headspace where focusing on one thing is even harder than normal, which brings us to my first November update…
UPDATE #1: CREATIVE STUFF
With the exception of drawing, I haven’t been able to concentrate on a whole lot. So, that’s pretty much what I’ve been focusing on. Drawing. Especially mythical creatures/beings. It’s actually been a lot of fun. 🙂 (The weird tree lady pictured above is a Dryad I drew, from Greek mythology.) NaNoWriMo, on the other hand, obviously got shot in the foot on take off. I don’t know what I was thinking with that one. Haha Between the pandemic and a very tense election I was pretty much glued to the news during the beginning of the month, so not much writing going on, I’m afraid.
UPDATE #2: HOLIDAYS
I think we all know by now that the holidays are going to be very different this year. Under normal circumstances I’m usually a bit on the Grinchy side, not really one for Christmas music and all the fluff that goes with it. (I’m not as bad as I used to be, but it’s never the part of year I’m really looking forward to.) Well, it’s 2020 and everything is all messed up and crazy, so of course this would be the year that I am PUMPED for Christmas. 😛 Bring on the holiday baking, Christmas movies and music, cozy winter bullshit, and decorations. I would already have the tree up and decorated if it wasn’t for Mr. Moth demanding Thanksgiving be allowed to have its moment. Haha I didn’t make the comic featured below, but when I found it, it immediately reminded me of Mr. Moth and his bizarre love for Thanksgiving. 😀
UPDATE #3: BAKING
I don’t know what it is about being stuck at home, but it really makes me want to bake ALL the things. Recent baking adventures include Snickerdoodle Cupcakes for Mr. Moth’s birthday, peanut butter cookies, pumpkin cookies, and rainbow chip cookies. I also busted out our new waffle maker and made homemade Belgian Waffles. One batch was regular and the other I jazzed up and made Pumpkin-Chai Belgian Waffles. 😀 It’s actually been really nice finding a joy in baking again. I used to bake all the time and then eventually I got sick of it. My favorite things to make this year definitely seem to be cookies. I’m really picky about cookies, so making them at home has been nice because they are super soft and chewy, just like I like ’em! ❤
UPDATE #4: READING
Like I said previously, my level of focus has been practically ZERO lately, so needless to say, not a lot of reading was getting done. Well, thankfully I’m starting to come back around and get some light reading in again. 🙂
I’m not going to lie, I was sooo sad when it hit me that I was reading the FINAL volume of Giant Days. This comic about three college friends and their lives has been such a treat to read. I can’t say I’ve read many other things that made me feel like I, too, along with the characters was saying farewell to my friends at the end. Mr. Moth and I both read this series, and we agree that John Allison does a fantastic job writing female characters. (Really, just characters in general, but if you’ve ever read anything from a male author where the male gaze gets a bit heavy, you know what we’re talking about.)
Written by Clive Barker, The Forbidden tells the story of what would eventually become the 1992 horror film, Candyman. I really enjoyed this short story, though if you’ve seen the film before you’ve read the story, this one feels like the blueprint to the movie which expands upon it in a really great way.
It’s always a treat reading more of Joe Hill’s work. With the recent news of the premature cancellation of AMC’s television adaptation of this title, I decided to go ahead and dive on in. Initially I was going to wait closer to Christmas due to some of the holiday horror vibes of this story, but as I mentioned already, I am feeling festive as fuck and could no longer wait. It’s off to a great start and I’m looking forward to reading more of it and seeing what the characters I came to love in the show get up to in the pages of this novel.
This title and I go way back. I’d gotten to read a smidge of Hack/Slash long ago, enough to have given me a taste of what it was bringing to the table but not enough to sink my teeth into. Well, at 300 pages, this omnibus lays out the whole feast and dessert too. Hack/Slash follows our resident goth drifter Cassie Hack and her pal Vlad, a big, deformed man of few words who has the soul of a kitten (as long as you’re not on his to-kill list) as they hunt Slashers across the country and put them down for good. I like the way they handle their slasher mythology in this series, describing Slashers (your standard Michael, Jason, Freddy sort of fare) as “a type of undead, sort of like a vampire or zombie. They’re so full of anger that they don’t wanna die. They hate love, youth, sex . . . things they miss from life.” I mean, how often do we see the big murderous slashers who go after teenagers spring back up for more mayhem and murder after they’ve been killed? All the time, right? Makes sense to me to throw the supernatural spin on that. The series definitely isn’t for everyone, and I, myself, sometimes roll my eyes due to that “male gaze” thing I mentioned previously, but it has a lot of appeal for horror fans, and thus I do enjoy it. Genre favorites from the big screen and behind-the-scenes even make appearances such as Robert Kirkman and Mr. Good Guy Doll himself, Chucky.
Anywhooo, that’s it for my November updates. Now it’s time to play catch-up and see what you fine and fancy folk have been up to. Happy (early) Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it. And Happy Monday (ugh) to the rest of you! 😛
Okay, so I’m a little late to the party on this Tag, but in all fairness what even IS time in 2020?? I sure as hell don’t know! 😛 I saw this wonderful post from Lair of Books and decided that I, too, wished to join in on the fun. Better stylishly late than never, right? 😉
1.) Best book you’ve read so far this year?
Probably the same book I’m about to give as the answer for the following question, too. 😛
2.) Best sequel you’ve read so far this year?
Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo. Loved this book. Great characters, great twists and turns, and great worldbuilding.
3.) New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
Even though I’m still not finished reading Dread Nation (not the book’s fault, but mine) I went ahead and bought the book’s sequel Deathless Divide, by Justina Ireland that was released earlier this year. Definitely looking forward to reading more of Dread Nation and then diving into this one.
4.) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
I didn’t have anything that instantly sprang to mind (mostly due to my own lack of research of new releases) but upon a little digging I discovered that we can, in fact, have SOME nice things in 2020. As it turns out, the fifth (and apparently final) volume of Monstress is coming out in October! 😀
5.) Biggest disappointment?
Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest, and I will explain why in the next question because it really does apply to both.
6.) Biggest surprise?
Probably how much I was disappointed by Boneshaker (pictured above). Zombie Steampunk shenanigans should have been my jam, but I just could not get into the characters, especially the main 2 characters. I was so sick of reading how “smart” the son was when he pretty much gave me zero evidence of that himself. And the mom just felt so flat. Like, we knew who she was married to, we know she wants to find her son, but other than that, there isn’t much I can say about her, unfortunately. And as much as I adore worldbuilding, I think they went a bit too heavy with setting the atmosphere compared to the actual plot and character development. I really had high hopes for this one but it just was not my cup of tea, sadly. 😥
7.) Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)?
Ilona Andrews. New to me, and such a treat. 🙂 Looking forward to checking out more of her books, especially in the Innkeeper Chronicles series.
8.) Newest fictional crush?
Ya know, I hate to be boring on this answer, but I don’t have one from the books I read. Unless you want to count Henry Cavill’s portayal of Geralt in The Witcher. I mean, it started as a book series (that I have yet to read) but who can deny how pretty this dude is wielding a sword, kicking all sorts of monster ass and brooding all over the place??
Though, by that logic, I could make a similar argument for Charlize Theron in The Old Guard, based off a graphic novel series I *also* have yet to read. Fierce. Badass. Warrior. QUEEN. ❤
9.) Newest favorite character?
Zoya Nazyalensky. She may not be a new character to me since I read the original Grisha Trilogy back in the day, but it was new to me just how much I enjoyed her character in Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars. Really good character development.
10.) Book that made you cry?
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. SO. MANY. FEELINGS. This book is so dark and beautifully done. Grief is such an ugly and complicated emotion and this book captures it perfectly.
11.) Book that made you happy?
Giant Days is always such a feel-good and fun slice-of-life style comic. Sometimes there are sad parts, but overall it’s a comfort read for sure. ❤
12.) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?
I don’t know . . . I really couldn’t pick one right now, sorry! D:
13.) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Definitely sooner than before the end of the year, but I need to finish my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes for Gideon the Ninth! Enjoying it so far, just have a lot going on right now and an attention span in tatters.
How has your year in reading been so far? 🙂 Let’s talk books! ❤
Whoops! Meant to do this post at the end of July but better late than never, right? 😉 After doing one of these photo-based monthly wrap-up posts for June, I thought it would be fun to carry on and make this a regular sort of installment here on my blog. 🙂 I hope everyone had a fun and safe July. Obviously with the coronavirus still running rampant this year’s 4th of July festivities were MUCH more low key, but Mr. Moth and I still had a great time.
BAKING: I made these S’mores cookies on the 4th of July. They were quite good, and I’m not even a S’mores person normally. 🙂 Another fun part of the 4th of July is that my very own little corner of the blogosphere celebrated it’s 4th Blog Birthday. Woo! 😀
OUTDOORS: It’s been far too hot for me to want to do much of anything outside this month, so I mostly just admired and watered our plants and then scuttled back inside.
We also recently had the pleasant surprise of discovering baby pumpkins! Can’t wait to have homegrown pumpkins this Halloween! That will certainly be a first. 🙂
BOOKS: In reading news, I’ve mostly been on a DC Comics binge this month. I recently joined the DC Universe streaming service and now that I have quite the catalog of DC titles at my fingertips I’m taking full advantage of it. 🙂 As for actual novels, I finished the third novel of the Innkeeper Chronicles and also fed my Leigh Bardugo addiction by finally reading King of Scars. Now that I’ve read all of the books in the “Grishaverse” that are currently out my wait begins for the follow-up to KoS. Luckily I still have her Wonder Woman novel and Ninth House to keep me going until then. 😛
DRAWING: Aside from my Weird and Wild Animal Drawings, I did find time to do some other drawings. 🙂 Near the end of the month I decided it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone and start drawing more dynamic poses. Then I kind of lurched to a halt on the drawing front. I’ll be back at it soon, though! I’ve had a lot of house and research projects keeping me busy.
ANCESTRY SEARCH: One of the research projects I started in July was that of my very own lineage. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and what better time than while my place of work is still shut down? I’ve been able to trace 3 of my grandparents’ family histories back pretty damn far and there have been some really fascinating results that I want to do a lot more research on.
How was your July? Any exciting plans for August?? What with the pandemic and all I can’t say I have a lot planned for August, but one thing I look forward to are the Friday night video chats with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetes as well as our current buddy read as we take on Gideon the Ninth together. 😀 Not super far yet, but really enjoying the book already. Well, that’s it for now. Hope you guys are all staying safe and well. Have an amazing August! ❤ ❤ ❤
I can’t even keep track of what day it is anymore, so some of the books in this haul may have been bought in May, and some in June, maybe all were in June, I don’t even know. lol Seriously, today was like the second time I’ve filled my gas tank since wayyyy back in mid-March if that puts it into perspective how little I’ve left the house via car to go anywhere the past few months. Needless to say, these books were purchased via my kindle. Can you tell we take social distancing serious af in this house? 😉
I’m about a quarter of the way through this book and I’m really enjoying it. I love the narration of the main character, plus any book that can combine historical fiction and zombies as well as this one does is a win for me. I’m already planning to buy the sequel to this book and I haven’t even finished this one, if that tells you anything. 🙂
As is often the case with good books, this one came per suggestion from none other than Cupcakes & Machetes. Check out her review for more info on this lovely little mashup of fantasy and science fiction. I read and really enjoyed this first installment of The Innkeeper Chronicles and have since moved on to the second book. Space werewolves and vampires, living inns for the supernatural that have a symbiotic relationships with their innkeepers, and other fun little surprises kept me entertained from the start. Luckily, also thanks to C&M, I got the first 3 books in a nice little kindle bundle sale. 🙂
This series is a charming read and I was glad to have it on hand for a much-needed distraction after the sudden loss of a beloved family pet. 😥 I’m almost halfway through this second installment. The books definitely make for a quick and fun read.
“They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.” I’ve read really good reviews for this book, and it was a GR Readers Choice Awards winner for 2018, so I’m really looking forward to checking it out.
Putting this out there right now, I’m fairly certain this one is gonna make me cry. I saw the ending (yes, just the ending) of the film and I was bawling my eyes out, so I can only imagine what the book is going to do to me.
A fantasy book set in Nigeria that is supposed to be a breath of fresh air with very unique worldbuilding. Sounds good to me! 🙂
. . . . .
So, how about you guys? Find any good books lately? What are you reading that really strikes your fancy? Who else misses how easy it used to be to go to your local bookstore and just shop around and browse all those glorious books in person??