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 . . .
Welcome to 2022!
I’m happy to say that I got into the holiday spirit a bit more last year! In my experience, it seems that the harder the year, the more I appreciate the holidays. The break from some normal responsibilities, the extra time with loved ones, the cozy atmosphere…and most of all the focus on why we’re celebrating in the first place. Not to say the holidays don’t bring other stresses and hurts of their own, but I was especially thankful for the Christmas season in 2021.
Highlights from December included attending a Christmas concert, getting to spend more time with family and friends, a holiday gathering, surprising multiple people with gifts, publishing and a blog tour (see below), hopefully gaining some ground on health issues, and just having a little extra time to rest and relax. God never fails to amaze me with His blessings.
And again, despite all the turmoil and upset in the world right now, I got to witness so much unity, thoughtfulness, and love during the holiday season. I can’t say exactly what it is, but there’s just something about Christmas that brings out the best in a lot of people. It was a beautiful reminder of the goodness still left in the world, and that God is still working for good – no matter what else is going on.
One of these months I’m actually going to have a good fiction wordcount to report. But December was not that month, haha. Although I’d hoped to write at least one new short story (I miss fiction!), that didn’t happen amidst the holiday busyness. I wrote a grant total of 0 words. If it’s at all up to me, I will be writing something fiction in January. Preferably quite a bit.
And although I didn’t get to write any new stories, I did get to publish my debut short story, The Toymaker’s Doll! In the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing huge, but I’m very happy with it anyway. It’s been a dream of mine to publish something for years, and I’m hopeful that this is just the start of my publishing journey. I’ve been so blessed through the experience and through hearing from those who’ve read it so far.
On the Blog
I managed a total of 9 blog posts last month, which I’m super happy about considering how busy it’s been. And even more exciting, half of them were for The Toymaker’s Doll blog tour! This was my first time participating in a blog tour for my own book, and it went better than I ever expected. I’ve been extremely blessed by everyone who offered to help with it.
Here are the posts for December (just click on the titles to read them):
~ 2021 November Wrap-Up
~ A Writer’s Blog Tag: All About Editing
~ The Spotify Wrapped Tag
~ Know the Novel Linkup – Part 3: Words Written
~ The Toymaker’s Doll Blog Tour Kickoff!
~ Why I Use a Pen Name
~ What Readers Are Saying About The Toymaker’s Doll
~ The Toymaker’s Doll Blog Tour Wrap-Up
~ What I Read in 2021
I got to do quite a bit more reading last month! The books I finished:
~ Thyroid Power by Richard L. Shames and Karilee Halo Shames
~ Feeling Fat, Fuzzy, or Frazzled? by Richard L. Shames and Karilee Halo Shames
~ Thyroid Healthy by Suzy Cohen
~ Adrenal Fatigue by James L. Wilson
(As you can tell, I was doing some health research, haha. All of these books were informative and helpful. Piecing together the information from each provided a pretty clear picture of the various health issues.)
~ The Hunger Games (#1) by Suzanne Collins
~ Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins
~ Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
(I’d only ever watched the movies before, and was hesitant to read the books, wondering if they’d ruin the movies for me. Turns out, not at all! I think the movies actually stayed remarkably true to the books. And the books themselves were fantastic. Despite already knowing the plot, I couldn’t help but continue turning pages, and loved all of the extra details and backstories. Definitely a well-written series, with incredible worldbuilding.)
~ Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
(I remember reading and enjoying this story when I was much younger, and I was pleasantly surprised to still enjoy it now! The spin on Snow White’s tale is very creative, and I appreciated the mystical prose and solid themes about obsession on external beauty.)
I’m currently compiling a list of books to read in 2022, and – surprise, surprise – it’s a long list, haha, Watch for a post about it next week!
There’s just something about the new year that’s especially motivating to me, and I’m hoping to take advantage of that motivation this month. I learned a lot of very valuable lessons last year – some much harder than others. It’s my goal to put many of them into better use this year, as well as continuing to learn new ones. I’m praying for a lot of personal growth in 2022!
Highlights coming up this month include: jumping full-swing back into both jobs, starting to teach the second semester of my fiction writing class, practicing my piano more, spending more time in the Word and prayer, continuing to make time for loved ones, a food pantry, reading a few books, writing more (blog and fiction), and finishing up my goals for 2022. Yes, I’m one of those planning people, haha. If you couldn’t tell already.
Specific writing goals I’d like to reach in January are to blog 10-11 times, write a short story, and continue to work on Cabin Girl. Last January I wrote almost 40,000 words of a new novel draft, and I’ve been itching to work on that again, but I don’t think I’ll let myself just yet. We’ll see how the month goes…
What was YOUR December 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 January! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!