2021 November 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

Well, it’s still cold, and still gets dark far too early for my tastes, but that’s to be expected in November after all. There’s no snow where I live though yet, so I’m thankful for that. As much as I love the look of snow, driving in it is not so fun, so I’d honestly be okay if it kept its sole appearance to the week of Christmas, haha. And speaking of Christmas, I listened to my first Christmas playlist on Thanksgiving and loved it. Yes, I’m that kind of person.

Life last month did not slow down at all, but I do feel like it settled down a little. There seems to be more of a routine in place now at least, so it makes it easier for me to figure out when to fit in each task and event. Time off from a few things for Thanksgiving was also very nice. Time with family, and a few extra moments to relax or catch up on odds and ends was much needed. Another plus was getting a bit more sleep than I did in October.

As always, God continues to provide. We have countless reasons to be thankful! Of course I need to remember to be thankful no matter what month it is, but November was a good reminder of all the reasons I should praise God, and I’m looking forward to continuing that season of gratitude during December and the holidays. He’s faithful – no matter how uncertain life is.

Fiction Writing

Last month, I wrote 2,166 words, which is far less than I’d hoped for, but also way more than previous months, so I’ll take it. Mostly I’ve been focused on editing, which means cutting many more words from my stories than I’m adding – but it’s still progress! I’ve made a lot of improvements to the narrative voice of Cabin Girl, and I’m thrilled to see change.

I also have some exciting writing news this month! If you’re on my email list or street team, you may have read my short story, The Toymaker’s DolI; an allegorical tale of a doll on a quest to find the Toymaker and convince him to fix the ‘flaws’ of both her and her friend. It’s a story that’s very near and dear to my heart, and come the week of Christmas, it will be released as an ebook on Amazon. I’m looking forward to sharing it more publicly, and also getting the chance to dive into publishing with a smaller-scale project first.

If you’re not on my email list and would like the chance to read The Toymaker’s Doll before it’s published, you can still find that here. So far, I’m still undecided whether I’ll continue sending it to subscribers after it’s published, or if I’ll swap it out for another story. And if you’d be interested in writing a review, or helping spread the word about The Toymaker’s Doll, just let me know! I’m so grateful for all the help and encouragement so far.

On the Blog

Well, my original goal for November was to release 8 posts, and while I didn’t manage that many, I did finish 6! I’m pretty happy with that number considering how busy it’s been, and the fact that I actually managed to do a little fiction work last month too. I also prepped quite a few fun posts for December (stay tuned!).

Below are the links for all of November’s posts:

~ October Wrap-Up
~ Blog with Character Tag
~ Indie Author Blog Tag
~ The Single Line Story Challenge
~ I’m Thankful
~ Know the Novel Linkup – Part 2: Within the WIP

Reading List

Once again, I didn’t get to read too much last month, but I did manage one longer fiction book and three non-fiction selections I’ve been wanting to get to for a while. I also continued October’s habit of reading more instructional articles to help with snags I’ve run into with my fiction writing.

The books I finished:

~ Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
(I cannot say enough good things about Brandes’ writing, I’ve discovered. This was my second read of hers and I wasn’t disappointed. The plot, the characters, the historical setting, the magical twist, and again, the writing style, made it another favorite of mine.)
~ Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
(No, I’m not married, but never too early to prepare, right? This was a very insightful book, full of biblical reminders and truths for building a God-centered marriage, and I enjoyed it.)
~ Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
(Admittedly, I wasn’t fond of the way this book was structured, and that made it hard for me to get into it. But, as always, Elisabeth Elliot shared a lot of good biblical wisdom which I appreciated.)
~ Who I Am In Christ by Neil T. Anderson
(This book – a series of devotionals – contained a lot of great reminders of what a Christian life should look like, and many of the sections contained encouragements I was needing.)

I’m not actually sure what the next books on my reading list are, other than continuing to read more of the Bible. I’ll definitely be reading through The Toymaker’s Doll several more times, but in addition to that, I guess I’ll have to peruse my bookshelves and see what jumps out at me (hopefully nothing literally).

Looking Forward

Christmas is worthy of celebration and joy every year – no matter how we feel about the extra things that tend to come with the holiday. However, I’m glad to say I’m feeling in the ‘holiday spirit’ a bit more than last year. Not that there aren’t still hard things going on, or difficult memories, but overall, it’s been making my heart very happy to look forward to extra time with loved ones, see the lights go up around town, and listen to Christmas hymns. If it were a bit warmer, it’d be perfect, haha.

Highlights I’m anticipating in December include: continuing to work, teaching the writing class, devoting more time to practicing my piano and singing for church worship, volunteering with a food pantry again, attending a Christmas concert, getting to write a bit more (on the blog and fiction), and of course spending time with loved ones over the holidays. I still have a hard time believing we’re almost done with 2021.

And some writing goals I’d like to reach in December are to publish The Toymaker’s Doll (and my first ever blog tour has already started being set up!), do more work on the narrative voice for Cabin Girl, write a short story if possible because I miss fiction, and post 6-8 times on the blog. It’s also about that time, where I take stock of my writing progress over this year and start figuring out my goals for 2022!

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

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