2021 October Wrap-Up

Hello and happy Wednesday!

Today’s post brings another summary of the past month of my life – with writing progress reports, reading accomplishments, and general updates!

So without further ado . . .

General Update

It’s now officially cold where I live. Not to the point of snow (yet!), but certainly to the point of sweaters, tea, fuzzy blankets, and appreciating every ray of warm sunshine because they’re becoming fewer and farther between. My hands have almost forgotten what it’s like to be warm, haha – at least when scraping frost off windshields at 6 in the morning.

As far as how the month went, let’s just say it didn’t go at all the way I planned. And that’s okay! Although it’s been crazy and stressful at times, God has brought so many blessings I never expected to receive. Among them have been extra time with family members, several new cousins, a second job nannying adorable little kiddos, the opportunity to join a local young-adult Bible study, starting to lead a small group and be on the worship team for my church’s youth group, teaching a high-school fiction writing class, and a wonderful new friend.

Like I talked about in this post last month, something I’ve been relearning (because I don’t seem to learn spiritual lessons just once…) lately is the need for complete and continual surrender in God. No matter what’s going on in life, what challenging and uncomfortable and unexpected things happen, He’s in control. We can always trust that He’s working for the ultimate good. And that promise has brought me so much peace.

Fiction Writing

My only fiction writing last month was a series of character-developing snippets for the novel I’m outlining, and also for several more minor characters in Cabin Girl. But I’m okay with that. I knew the focus for October wasn’t going to be fiction, and even though I didn’t end up writing a short story like I’d hoped, I got my outlining done so I’m happy.

That said, I’m definitely hoping November brings a lot of fiction writing. Instead of traditionally doing NaNoWriMo like I did last year and had originally planned to do this year as well, I’m going to be spending this month focusing hard on Cabin Girl. This means rewrites, edits, formatting, finishing work with the cover designer, publishing prep, anything that still needs to be done before I can share this story publicly!

So even though I’m not writing a new rough draft, I’m looking forward to getting to work on Cabin Girl again, and hope to be giving better updates on it as the month progresses.

On the Blog

I received another valuable lesson in the difference between my plans and God’s last month, and ended up having an unintentional hiatus from blogging for the first two weeks of October. So I only put out 4 posts, but I’m thankful I managed that many! I’d like to post about twice that many this month.

Here are the links to all October’s posts:

~ When Plans Go Astray
~ How I Choose My Books – Blog Tag
~ Know the Novel Linkup – Part 1: Introduction
~ 10 Quotes About Finding Courage

Reading List

Productive reading tends to come in bursts for me. So while September was a fantastic month for finishing books, October’s reading mostly consisted of helpful articles as I worked on outlining a novel and writing lessons for my fiction class. Otherwise, I did finish two books; one fiction, and one non-fiction. I highly recommend both of them!

The books I finished:

~ Romanov by Nadine Brandes
(This was my first read of Brandes’ and although I didn’t know what to expect, it exceeded all my hopes. The setting, the characters, the emotion, the writing style…definitely one of my favorites!)
~ Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris
(I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, and as I’ve done more with the Young Writer’s Workshop this fall, it got bumped up in my priorities list. I’m glad it did! There was a lot of inspiring and encouraging wisdom there, and I wish every teenager could read it once.)

The next books on my reading list are Fawkes (I’m officially a fan of Brandes’ works now, haha), Hind’s Feet in High Places (still working on this one, but I love it), and a lot more of the Bible this month. I’ve been really craving Scripture lately, even more than usual. We can’t read anything better than the Bible!

Looking Forward

In an attempt to stay caught up with all my new obligations and still find time to write, I’ve either been getting up at 5 or staying up until near midnight to fit it all in – not typically both because a sleepy Bella can be a crabby Bella and that’s no good for anyone. Trust me. Unfortunately I’ll admit sleepy Bella has been around a lot more lately.

Some highlights I’m looking forward to in November include: continuing to work both jobs, hopefully improving at my piano and singing for worship, learning to lead small groups well, participating in more weeks of Bible study, spending more time with loved ones (at Thanksgiving as well), volunteering at a local food pantry organization, teaching more fiction writing classes, and a lot more writing.

Specific writing goals I’d like to reach in November are pretty much just Cabin Girl-related. I want to make as much progress as possible, and am excited to see it come together. I’ll also hopefully keep up with some blog posts in addition, with my goal being about 8. And it’d be fantastic to write a picture-inspired short story sometime this month too, but I’m trying to rein myself back and be a bit more realistic…we’ll see!

What was YOUR October 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 November! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!

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5 thoughts on “2021 October Wrap-Up

  1. I saw you read “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. I love that book! It’s very inspiring and motivating. I highly recommend it for anyone who hasn’t read it.

  2. It sounds like you’ve had a very busy month! I hope you’ll be able to find some time to rest soon. And praying everything goes well with Cabin Girl this month! I can’t wait to see this release into the world soon! <3

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