June Check In and Year-End Goals

Blessed be, all! I hope the Solstice treated you kindly! The year’s half over now, and, though we’re all sweating under the sun, it’s important to remember that we’ve crested the hill and are rolling down the other side.  With that in mind, let’s check on June and then lay out a plan for the rest of the year!

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- I have managed to work every day, no matter what, but some scenes did end up taking more than one day just by virtue of the work that needed done.
  2. Reading: THE KINGDOM OF GODS by NK Jemisin- Oh, my gods, was I ever right about this book. I sobbed so hard. I loved it so much.
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Managed it!

So, to start with, let’s set up a plan for July, and then lay out the rest of the year. For next month:

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- Continuing with the slow progress on this draft. Because next month is Camp Nano, I’m tentatively hopeful that I can finish the whole thing. If not, I’d like to at least get 30k further than I am.
  2. Reading: The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault A friend recommended this one to me as inspirational reading to go along with my work on Kheras. I’m not far into it, but it’s a big departure from what I’ve been reading lately. We’ll see how it goes!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- No matter what!

As for the rest of the year, here’s what I have in mind!

  1. Writing: Complete Second Draft of Kheras- Ideally, I’ll have this done by the end of July, end of summer at the latest. If that happens, I’d like to go back to my paranormal history and start edits on the first book, since it has so much that now needs to be changed.
  2. Reading: TBD- I don’t have a set number of books that I’d still like to tackle this year or an order. I have a few ideas on a TBR list on my desktop that I’ve been picking from as mood strikes me. I know I’d like to read more Jemisin and more VE Schwab (I have one of her books to be reviewed very soon), but I’m not setting a particular date for any of those. I would like to stick to at least one to two books per month. I’m not interested in reading quickly as long as I’m consuming good quality.
  3. Beta: Three projects on deck – I currently have three things slated to be read for various people in my writing groups. One is a finished novel draft; one is an outline; the last is a novella. I’d like to have all three done by the end of summer, ideally.
  4. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Part of establishing good habits is actually making it a habit. No excuses.

Review: The Broken Kingdoms

Blessed be, all! Sorry that this is a little late going up. Life decided to take a sharp right turn again this week and left me scrambling. I’m not letting that shake me, though, so here are some more literature thoughts I’ve been chewing on.

I read The Broken Kingdoms back in April and, yes, I’m just getting around to the review. I needed some time to digest it and really appreciate what I just read. This book, guys. This book hit me in the feels in all the right ways. And I had to take some time to sort all of that out.

I don’t want to spoil anything because I feel like this book is best gone into blind. It takes place several years after the events of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and picks up with a new cast of characters. I love every single one of them. I love the protagonist. I love the supporting cast. The villain is utterly, uniquely terrifying. But they’re so completely themselves, the plot unfolding as a direct cause-to-effect of their own flawed personalities.

And the plot! I don’t say this often. There is literally nothing about the way this story falls out that I would change. Just enough twists to keep me interested; just enough familiarity to make me comfortable. Then the story reached into my chest and played with my heart like a marionette. I cheered, laughed, cried, sometimes within just the span of a page. Jemisin is not one to tread lightly on my emotions, but it’s all done masterfully. She plays with my expectations of what a fantasy story is supposed to be, how it would have gone in the hands of a different author. And she uses it to brutal, beautiful effect.

 

June Goals — Kinda

Blessed be, all! As you may have noticed, it’s been a few weeks. Unfortunately, the universe took my promise of prioritizing self-care this month and made it a challenge. As soon as the calendar turned to June, everything went wrong. Hence the radio silence; I had to step away for a bit and let the dust settle. I seem to be doing better, though, so it’s time to get back on the horse. Let’s start by checking in on how we did in May.

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- As I thought, May was a little bumpy for work. I did make some progress, including finally hitting my eureka moment on a scene I’d been struggling with for some time.
  2. Reading: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes- Smashed this one. I also read Vicious by V.E. Schwab, which is now in the running for my favorite book of all time. Eagerly awaiting the sequel!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Didn’t happen. I figured that I’d miss a few days because of Mother’s Day, but I ended up having to take more than I’d intended.

Now, as for the rest of June. Since the first half of the month was basically a bust, I’m only looking at the next two weeks. My main goal is to concentrate on reestablishing good habits. To that end:

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- I still have a long way to go in this draft. I intend to do minimum one scene a day, no matter how tired I am.
  2. Reading: The Kingdom of Gods by NK Jemisin- I’m about a third of the way through already, and this book is already angling to be one of my all-time favorites. It’s just so heartbreaking and beautiful!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Part of establishing good habits is actually making it a habit. No excuses.