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2021 July Wrap-Up

Hello and happy Wednesday!

Just as I shared in June, today’s post is a summary of the past month of my life – with writing progress reports, reading accomplishments, and general updates.

I’ve found that knowing I’ll be held accountable for my goals is very helpful in actually reaching them, haha. And perhaps looking back at past months will allow me to spot helpful patterns or insights for the journey. I certainly hope so!

Without further ado . . .

General Update

I thought June was busy, but the flurry of activity in July made June seem almost laidback! My poor, amazing family didn’t see much of me last month, and when they did, it was often a frazzled, exhausted, and scatterbrained me. I’m hoping for a chance to breathe this month, and they’re probably hoping I’m more myself again too, haha. As crazy as July was though, all the activities were enjoyable!

First of all, I spent a week housesitting for a lovely family, which included caring for the sweetest giant lap dog ever (a Great Dane who clearly saw herself as a chihuahua), among other pets. Even though I still made trips back home, the experience of caring for a house/animals independently for a while was a good one. Interesting how fast dishes for one person can be washed, too.

The next big event started the last day of housesitting – a two-week theatre camp. When I signed up, I knew little about who else would be involved, what would be expected of us, or even what show we’d be putting on, which was a stretch for me! But I’ve missed theatre, and while auditioning, learning, memorizing, and performing a musical in twelve days was often stressful, I learned so much, and the great memories and friends made were very worth it. Now that it’s ended, I’ve gotten more rest, but I do miss it!

Those activities plus the busyness of everyday life, work, family birthdays and reunions, and trying not to let all my writing goals be failures definitely kept me occupied this month! However insane at times, I’m grateful for all of it, and God’s worked in wonderful ways in each situation. His methods are fascinating to observe!

Fiction Writing

Now for a confession…I wrote a grand total of 8 fiction words last month. I’m not proud, haha, but sometimes life just happens. July was evidently full of life – and not one that included much writing. My many writing goals have now been shoved to August, which looks much more open so far. Maybe I can actually get to them this month!

Thankfully, I did manage to do a bit of outlining/prep work to make the rewriting process easier for my Cabin Girl prequel. Not something I can add to my wordcount, but I’m very glad for the headstart on this next draft.

Fiction writing goals for August include:

~ Rewriting (2nd draft) my Cabin Girl prequel – probably about 70,000 words
~ Finishing edits, proofreads, and formatting for Cabin Girl

On the Blog

I released three posts in July – far less than last month. I did plan to cut back on posting over the summer though. In August, I’m aiming to publish 4-6 posts in August, and then hopefully I’ll resume an 8-10 monthly schedule once autumn hits. Here’s the list of July posts (just click on the titles to read them):

~ Truly Free
~ Twenty Years Older: A Letter Tag
~ 10 Quotes About Living Free

Reading List

My reading time was very sparse last month, with any spare moments going toward work or memorizing lines, but I did manage to fit in a couple of fiction books! As much as I enjoy non-fiction, reading some fiction stories written by other people (i.e. not by me, haha) was a refreshing change.

The list of books I finished:

~ The Help by Kathryn Stockett
(This had far more mature content than I would have liked, but the story was gripping and the characters were vivid, nuanced, and likable. Overall, it was very hard to put down.)
~ The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
(Again, I can’t recommend this due to some content, but the setting was fascinating, and the story quickly drew me in. Not my favorite, but some of the themes and characters really spoke to me.)

And the books I started but haven’t finished yet:

~ Eragon by Christopher Paolini
~ No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado
~ Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

If I’m not careful, I tend to start a lot of books and not ever finish them all, haha. My goal is to finish every book I start this year, even if it takes me a while. Most of my focus in August will be going toward writing, but hopefully I can still get to reading a few more books, too.

Looking Forward

As I’ve mentioned already, while August will still be busy, it looks like I’ll be able to have a bit more time at home – which should mean a chance to catch up on the overlooked projects from July. Highlights moving forward include a friend’s wedding, continuing to help with my church’s youth group, volunteering with a local food distribution group, working more hours, and getting more time to write!

In addition, I need to finish planning and preparing for the high school fiction writing class I start teaching at the end of the month. I’ve never taught a class before and I’m definitely nervous, but it should be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to the chance to share the advice that’s helped me so much on my writing journey. The students signed up are a great group, too, which only makes things better!

Writing-wise, my prayer is that by the end of the month, I’ll have stuck to my less intensive posting on my blog (expect 4-6 posts), written the second draft of my prequel and cleaned it up enough to submit to a novel contest, complted another round of edits on Cabin Girl, and formulated a plan to keep me on track with my writing goals for the fall. Only God knows what will happen, but I’m trusting that He’ll work everything out as it should be, just as He always does. I only have to stay on my toes!

Well, there you have my July 2021 wrap-up! Thanks for sticking with it! Or to summarize if you skipped to the end: I didn’t write much in July, but I did lots of other stuff, and I plan to do a bunch more in August. That’s the whole post in a nutshell. Now off I go, to start!

What was YOUR July like? What kinds of things did you get to do? If you have a progress report on something, or books you read and would like to share, go ahead and let me know in the comments! And while you’re at it, feel free to include what you’re looking forward to and/or hoping to accomplish in August! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!

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