Hello and happy first day of October!
Today’s post is a recap of my most recent three months of 2023 (July, August, and September) – complete with general life updates, writing achievements, reading progress, and goals. And as always, I’m looking forward to hearing how life has been going for you lately!
Let’s get started!
This past quarter has felt like the fastest one so far. I feel like July just started a couple of weeks ago! Life has continued to be busy, but a good busy. My husband and I secured an extra month in our apartment and don’t have to leave until the end of November, which is good, as house proceedings are taking much longer than we expected. God’s certainly been using every opportunity to teach me peace.
Now that we’re into autumn, some extra activities have started back up again, such as the weekly youth group meetings I help with, and I’m enjoying those. The weeks have been filled to the brim with those, work, both my husband’s and my birthdays, house hunting, typical household upkeep, a special project I’ll share more about next year, time with family, and writing.
I’ve been so blessed to have more time to devote to writing/publishing the past few months! In addition, I have a very supportive husband who’s been especially patient with me the past couple of weeks, as I’ve spent most of my free time working on publishing and blogging activities. It’s felt wonderful to write again, and finish some long overdue projects.
Speaking of long overdue projects, I published Cabin Girl September 18th (if you somehow haven’t heard already!) It’s now available on Amazon as a paperback and ebook, as well as through my website as signed copies with bookmarks!
The reception has been so encouraging, and I’ve had quite a few people leaving reviews already, which makes my day every time. All of the feedback into what readers loved, didn’t like as much, and want more of is going to be very helpful as I continue to write The Secretive Seas Series. It’s great to move on to rewriting Book #2 (Gills…hint hint), and have the story out in the world!
In addition, we had a great launch week, with daily posts here on this blog, Instagram, Facebook, and on other’s feeds, as well as a fun giveaway! Our winners were announced and contacted directly, and their prizes are well on their way (if not with them already)! It’s been an exciting and rewarding past two weeks.
On the Blog
My blogging schedule has been pretty sporadic this past quarter, starting slow as I worked on finishing Cabin Girl and getting it ready for publication, and exploding during and after Cabin Girl‘s release.
So July had two posts, August had four, and September had a whopping twenty-one, making a grand total of twenty-seven blog posts in the second quarter of 2023!
You can tell when I released Cabin Girl, and participated in Five Fall Favorites. Those last two weeks of September were pretty crazy! And it shows in the stats for my website. September was this site’s biggest month for all kinds of engagement since I started it in 2020. Very fun!
Here’s the long list of blog posts from last quarter…just click on the titles to read them!
~ The Book Titles Tag
~ My Life in Books Tag
~ Anonymous Bookaholics Tag
~ Publishing News!
~ “What Makes Me Pick Up a Book” Tag
~ 21 Lessons I’ve Learned in 21 Years
~ Cabin Girl Release and Giveaway! (Launch Tour: Day 1)
~ Why You Should Read Cabin Girl (Launch Tour: Day 2)
~ Bible Verses That Remind Me of Cabin Girl (Launch Tour: Day 3)
~ What Readers Are Saying About Cabin Girl (Launch Tour: Day 4)
~ Fun and Random Facts About Cabin Girl (Launch Tour: Day 5)
~ What I’ve Learned While Writing Cabin Girl (Launch Tour: Day 6)
~ The End…And the Beginning of Cabin Girl’s Release (Launch Tour: Day 7)
~ Top 5 Gifted Finds (Five Fall Favorites 2023)
~ Top 5 Secondhand Favorites (Five Fall Favorites 2023)
~ Top 5 Buddy-Read Books (Five Fall Favorites 2023)
~ Top 5 Indie Discoveries (Five Fall Favorites 2023)
~ Top 5 Upcoming Books (Five Fall Favorites 2023)
~ Top 5 Books of the Year (Five Fall Favorites 2023)
Again, as I’ve been busy with blogging and publishing, reading has fallen by the wayside. Most of the books I’ve read recently have either been ARCs of upcoming novels, related to projects I’m working on with others, and childhood middle-grade favorites that I’ve been revisiting.
I’m extremely behind in my original (unrealistic) reading goal for the year, but I expect to catch up some in the next month, as I want to take time and refuel creatively (i.e. read more books) before I dive into my next publishing project. Especially after doing Five Fall Favorites, I have so many books I’m eager to read!
Realistically, I know I won’t make my original reading goal, but I’m okay with that. I’ve made progress in a lot of different areas that I didn’t expect to this year, and that feels great!
Here are a few of my favorites from the past three months:
~ Lyddie by Katherine Paterson (historical middle-grade)
~ Mandy by Julie (Andrews) Edwards (historical middle-grade)
~ Generations 2: The DC Gambit by Kenny Sargent (Christian political thriller)
~ Like a Ship on the Sea by Kellyn Roth (Christian historical romance)
~ Cabin Girl by E. G. Bella…(Christian historical/pirate) (does this not count, haha?)
You can always keep up with my reading list (and reviews) on Goodreads.
So what’s on the agenda for the next – and last – quarter of 2023? Well, the biggest thing will probably be moving right around Thanksgiving. Not sure where to yet, but I’m sure that will be figured out soon, haha. I will have moved twice this year then, and it will make about half a dozen times that my husband has moved in the last few years. It will be wonderful to find a place to settle in for a while and make our own.
Otherwise, I’m aiming to spend some extra time this quarter taking a bit better care of myself. I notice a big difference in how I’m feeling when I’m more intentional with my nutrition, sleep, and activity, but when life is crazy and there are a million other obligations, that’s hard to do well. While I take a mini hiatus from fiction writing this month, I’m hoping to jumpstart that process and make some good habits.
And on the writing side of things, though I’m not going to let myself write (much?) fiction in October, I aim to work on outlining next projects, continue to blog, keep up with people on social media, and read. I probably won’t be able to do NaNoWriMo in the traditional sense, but November may be when I hop back into some more intensive writing again. And then we’re into the holidays! Hard to believe 2023 is almost over…it’s been a whirlwind of a year.
What have these past three months of 2023 been like for you? Have you made progress on some of your goals, or learned some important lessons? What are you looking forward to in the last quarter of the year? Do you have any holiday plans? I’d love to hear about what’s been going on in your life!