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 . . .
Where to start? June was crazy, even more so than I anticipated it being back in May. This week is the first one that I’ve been able to start getting back to normal, which is also why you haven’t seen much of me before this post. I had good intentions, but God had better plans. And now I’m trying to settle back into the right balance of work + writing + people. I’ll be sharing more about the spiritual side of things on Sunday (in a post that was meant for July 3rd…), but for now, I’d like to give you a little recap of the month.
My June alternated between a week of work and packing, followed by a week of being gone, and so on. The first week away from home was spent counseling for a youth church camp. I’ve previously counseled there several times, including once for that specific event before. Last year I came back saying it was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things I’d ever done. This year was even more so! Someone described it as being a pitcher pouring into the kids, and by the end of the week, you’re just drained. I found that to be very true, but getting to be there for each of the kids in their journeys was definitely worth it.
After another busy week back home, I left again for Kansas for the One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop. It was about an eight-hour drive – not horrible, but the longest trip I’ve been in a vehicle for. And to be honest, I don’t believe I’ve fully processed this week yet. There was so much going on! Lots of informative sessions, hours of critique groups and notes, conversations (and getting to room with) people I never thought I’d meet face-to-face, a brainstorm meeting with a literary agent, fun and crazy activities, and a completely new environment. Due to the busyness before this week, I was more exhausted than I’d have liked to be, but I enjoyed it and am very thankful for getting to be part of it.
With June having been such a crazy month, my writing accomplishments were few and far between. I didn’t make any substantial progress on any project – whether in fiction or on the blog – but I did learn a lot during the conference, and devoted some time to putting what I’d learned into practice. This included outlining for a future project, as well as troubleshooting past ones, like Cabin Girl. I’m glad I took the time to focus on those things.
In addition, for the conference I needed four, four-page excerpts for the critique group I was assigned to. And because I’m crazy, I decided to bring pieces from a fantasy that I’d barely started a while ago and would like to work on more amidst Cabin Girl. I ended up writing 3,305 more fiction words in that story before the conference, which gave me enough excerpts. Fantasy is not my comfort genre to write, so I appreciated all the feedback!
On the Blog
Despite being gone and without access to my computer for about half of June, I still stayed on track with my monthly 4-6 blog posts goal! Mostly because I’d gotten them almost completely prepared back in May, and I’m so thankful I was able to do that. I published seven posts in June, which seems to be the perfect amount of monthly posts for me right now.
Here are the posts for June (just click on the titles to read them):
~ 2022 May Wrap-Up
~ What I’m Learning About Vulnerability
~ The Get to Know Me Tag – Writer’s Edition
~ My Favorite Friendships in Fiction
~ 10 Impactful Quotes About Fathers
~ The Bookworm’s Tag (#3)
~ 5 Reasons Why Writers Need Community
To be completely honest, my reading list went a bit haywire in June. I read bits and pieces of a lot of different books, but with being gone so much and super busy when I wasn’t gone, I don’t even think I finished most of them. In fact, I even added quite a few books to my collection from the conference…needless to say, I’ve got catching up to do!
I’m pretty sure the only book I finished was A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin. This was a gift from my cousin, and a powerful, short read that I actually did manage to finish during the conference. I’m glad I did! It was packed with insights and wisdom, and I feel like I’m going to need to read it a few more times to really let everything sink in.
Other than that, here’s my list of the books I believe I’ve started in the past month and still need to prioritize finishing…
~ A Lifting Up For the Downcast by William Bridge
~ Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed by Philip Hallie
~ Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
~ Go Teen Writers: Write Your Novel by Stephanie Morrill, Jill Williamson, & Shannon Dittemore
Here I am writing a recap for June, and it’s already halfway through July…the month is flying by. I’ll expand on this in my next post, but on the last half-day of the conference I started feeling poorly, and the next morning woke up in a hotel five hours from home with what we’ve since found out was a vestibular migraine. I’ve never dealt with migraines before this, just occasional vertigo, but I would be more than okay with never experiencing one again. About a week of only being able to be out of bed for short periods, if at all.
I thought I’d be back to work and catching up on things the week after returning from Kansas, but instead, I’ve only just gotten back into things the past couple of days. I’m still not 100% myself yet, but the improvement is such a relief. I never thought I’d be so grateful to go back to work, haha. So to me, it feels like July just started, and I think that ‘loss of time’ is going to keep throwing me off the rest of this summer.
Although it’s not started off exactly how I envisioned or would have chosen it to go, I’m trying to stay realistic this summer, and just trust God. I really don’t know what’s going to happen in the next couple of months. There are so many things up in the air. But as the last week or so – actually the entire month of June – kept reminding me, God is in control and He knows best. So my main task for this next month of resettling and prioritizing is just to stay in step with Him, and not let myself get carried away by believing I know best. I don’t!
What was YOUR June 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 July! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!