Hello, my friends, I hope you all are doing well. School has begun for me, and I cannot tell you how excited I am to be back on campus. The first week was spent so busy meeting up with friends (some I’m only meeting in person for the first time!), organizing club activities, and starting a research project, in addition to all my classes. I’m doing my best to schedule writing time in the mornings, before my 9am classes, and was able to more or less stick to that plan! We’ll see how long it lasts, especially once homework starts piling on, but for now I’m pleased to have a dedicated hour. It’s not much, but maintaining the creative momentum is half the battle when it comes to keeping a habit, and having the dedicated hour of escape from my other responsibilities will help me stay balanced through the semester, so I have high hopes!
I also said in my last recap that I found another way of tracking writing progress that I would be using going forward. Well… I ended up not using it as much as I thought I would, but I still somehow managed to finish more words than I did in July! I’m going to continue experimenting with the chart, but I think it works better when my attention is split between a bunch of things, rather than doing a sprint, as you’ll see in the goals breakdown. So what did I work on?
Won by 3.5 points – 8/9!
Finish The Magnus Archives – in case you’re not familiar with this story, TMA is a weekly serial fiction horror podcast produced by The Rusty Quill. My good friend Siarven got me into the series over a year ago, and I’ve been slowly chipping through all 200 episodes of it. I wanted to finish before the school year started so that I would have the mental bandwidth to dedicate to my classes, and I’m glad I did. It’s a really great series and it’s given me a lot of ideas for future stories! It’s on this list because by nature of the story, I think of it as an audiobook, and so it goes along with my reading goals. It also gave me the chance to practice story analysis, because I was scream-typing my reactions to Siarven as I listened and tried to predict the ending ahead of time. I was right too. Such a satisfying feeling. Read 3 books – Aside from TMA, I also read The Terebinth Tree Chronicles by Hannah Heath. These are a trilogy of prequel novellas that each share the backstory for one of the main characters in the upcoming series, including “Colors of Fear,” “Flames of Courage,” and “Sounds of Deceit.” I’ve been a fan of Hannah’s work for YEARS, and these books are so unbelievably well written. The characters are instantly compelling and their arcs set up the broader story incredibly well, while tying into the strong themes. The worldbuilding (especially the way magic interacts with the character’s lives) is flawlessly executed without being an infodump, and it is so vivid you feel like you are living in the world when you read. The prose is absolutely gorgeous. Every word is chosen intentionally to create a deliberate effect on the reader, and they’re so engaging that I finished each in one sitting. I hope to cover these books in more depth in a later Reading Rec, or maybe have Hannah join the blog for an interview one day (if I can work up the nerve to ask her), but until then, please take my wholehearted recommendation for this series. Learn how to record Reels – I did two! I’m finding it very difficult to build a platform on Instagram when they keep changing the algorithm. My weekly posts to promote these articles on my website get traffic from maybe 1 or 2 people. (If you’re one of those people reading this, then thank you!) I rarely use the Reels feature, but it seems to be popular so I tried one just for the heck of it. It got like 4000 views overnight. HOW DOES THAT WORK?! I know not. But I’m going to be trying more in the near future. Website + Instagram scheduling – I put this goal on my list every month to keep myself accountable to putting out a post weekly, but it created another goal in the process of writing up my post on How I Create a Magic System. I had the idea for my magic working in the back of my mind, but most of my notes were scattered across dozens of different documents from the past years of progress on The Laoche Chronicles. So I also put together over 9,000 words of cohesive up-to-date notes, created new lore, and organized my magic system! Draw 5 Things – ah the return of the class doodles at last. I expect to see more of these and less books in the coming months, since my only time to read is on the bus, but its always good to keep practicing a skill so I don’t get rusty
Write another 2 chapters in Lost and Found Again – This story unfortunately was paused again as I tried to prioritize my big projects. It will get done one day. Maybe in a decade but it will be finished. Eventually.
Finish Runaways – yes! The story is complete at just a little over 35K words, and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out. I really want to hand it off to beta readers by October, so I have already started the editing process, which you can read more about here. It’s weird to be editing two books at once, but I’m very excited to put this story out into the world, and it should hopefully go quickly, since the story is simple and there isn’t a lot I want to change. Edit 10K in Storge – this brings us through Chapter 11, which means 57,000 words and 112 pages. Not quite halfway yet, but it is coming along rather well. I expect I can handle 1-3 chapters a month, depending on what I choose to prioritize, so I hope to be done with this draft by next April or May, so just in time for the end of the semester so I can print it off for line-level revisions, or hand it to my first betas to read over the summer!
Stay tuned for those updates, and please let me know if you’re interested in beta reading either of these stories! I’ll be sure to contact you when they’re ready to share. Thanks for reading! I’m already looking at 2022 schedules, so if you want to request a topic for a blog post, feel free to message me or leave a comment. Happy writing!