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 June! It feels so crazy to write that, but yes, we’re really in June now. The weather where I live has been hanging between the 70’s and 80’s most days, with quite a bit of wind. I love seeing all the flowers coming to life, making the roadsides, gardens, and pots around houses very colorful. I could definitely do without the pollen allergies (I know I’m not the only one, right?), but that will hopefully improve soon. At least it better!
May was a month of transition for me. A handful of commitments finished up for the summer, if not permanently. One of those was the fiction class I was teaching. The students were wonderful and made it so fun, and I enjoyed the chance to share and talk about writing, but it is nice to have that lesson-planning time to use for writing again. In the past week since things have finished, I got more done than in the rest of the month, haha. And it makes me very hopeful for June, at least in the weeks I’m home (more on that later).
God has been so faithful this past month -as always, of course. I’ve just paid more attention lately. I mentioned at the start of May that I’ve been struggling with burnout, and that’s still true. Though I believe the physical and emotional burnout will and is starting to improve, I’ve been surprised at how much other kinds of burnout lead to spiritual burnout too. Not a crisis at all, but difficulty in praying, reading the Bible, and understanding what I’m reading. I’m confident that will improve too, with God’s help, and He’s already been there for me in many ways, including through some dear friends that have helped and prayed consistently.
As several of my commitments wrapped up near the end of May, I slowly got to add in more fiction writing again! That means there’s been a lot of work on Cabin Girl! And it feels very nice to be back at work at it again, and to see so much encouraging progress. I finished editing two chapters in the past two days alone (and my chapters are long, so that’s an accomplishment for me along with work and other priorities still going on).
In May, I wrote 1,179 words. That comes from my editing, as I’m adding in more character voice and bettering my descriptions. And while it’s one measure of progress, it’s not the only one, since I’m also cutting words and paragraphs that don’t fit in the story. In all, do I wish I was farther along in Cabin Girl? Absolutely. But am I motivated by some progress finally? Also, yes! I’m hoping to continue over the next couple of weeks especially.
On the Blog
Just like I announced in April, I’ve officially switched to my summer blogging schedule now! This is with the goal of giving myself some more flexibility, and hopefully getting to write a bit more fiction over the next few months. My new monthly goal is 4-6 posts, sprinkled among Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
I’m happy to say that May went well! It was so much easier to stay on track of the posts last month (with the exception of one post coming several days late, thanks to the flu. But I still posted it!). The final count for the month was six posts – so even the higher end of my goal!
I also managed to pre-write all of my posts for June, which is a huge blessing as I’ll be gone for about half of the month, and both frantically preparing to be gone and catching up on work the rest of the time, haha. So anything I can manage to get done ahead of time is very helpful.
Here are the posts for May (just click on the titles to read them):
Also as I’d hoped, I got to read a lot more this month! It was so nice to dive back into both fiction and non-fiction. I never realize just how much I’ve missed reading other people’s writing (as opposed to only working on my own) until I get back into it again. It was a welcome chance to relax and learn.
I finished five books this month, three fiction, and two non-fiction:
~ The Selection by Kiera Cass
(Based on what I’d heard, I had no plans to read this series, but after finding the first two books at my local thrift shop for a dollar combined, I decided to give them a shot. And even though it wasn’t my favorite, and had enough content that I can’t recommend it, this first book pleasantly surprised me. I won’t be rereading it, but I can honestly say I’m glad I tried it. The premise and dystopian worldbuilding was a lot of fun, and I stayed very engrossed.)
~ The Elite by Kiera Cass
(Despite being pleasantly surprised by the first book, the second one seemed to disregard all my favorite elements of The Selection and magnify the frustrating parts (ex. love triangle). It still had its redeeming qualities, but I found myself skimming it multiple times. Unless I stumble across the third one at some point, I don’t plan to finish the series.)
~ City On Our Knees by TobyMac
(Another thrift store find! This wasn’t too revolutionary, but I really enjoyed the simple and inspiring stories about brave people stepping out and sharing God’s love with those around them, even when times were nearly unbearably hard. I always like reading biographies, and finished this collection of mini-biographies feeling inspired. It was a worthwhile read.)
~ Shards of Sky by E. C. Colton
(I actually won a signed copy of this touching story in a giveaway last month, and was thrilled, as I’ve been wanting to read it. The length reminded me of a middle-grade book, but the themes and writing style were so deep and beautiful. There was a constant air of mystery and tension that kept me engaged, but there was hope too. I’m glad to have read it!)
~ The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas
(After reading a chapter a week for the past several months, I finally finished this book! And I definitely recommend it for anyone who is either in a relationship, or looking to be in one some day. There were so many wonderful insights, conversation-starters, pieces of wisdom, and practical applications of Scripture, and I’m very glad I worked through it.)
I feel very blessed to be starting off the summer on a positive note as far as productivity goes. The next few months will still be very busy with various commitments, work, family, friends, and of course, writing, but I believe I’m slowly reaching a better balance between them all. I’m looking forward to making progress on my goals, and setting aside extra time to grow closer to the Lord again.
June is going to be an incredibly full month! I’ll be away from home for two weeks, with a week before and between to try and prep for each long event. Week #1 away from home will be to counsel for a youth church camp. I got to counsel for this camp last year and enjoyed it very much. It was exhausting, often stressful, and I was very far from my comfort zone, but God moved in many touching ways, and I enjoyed sharing His Word with the kids.
After a brief return home to work, catch up on life, and re-pack, Week #2 away from home will be spent at a writers conference! Specifically, the One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) Summer Workshop. I’ve attended this conference the past two years virtually, but this is their first year back to being in-person, and I’m thrilled to be able to attend. It’s the farthest I’ll have ever been from family, and though I’m nervous about it, I’m also looking forward to it greatly. And my hope is that I return feeling even more inspired to work on my writing!
What was YOUR May 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 June! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!