So, this is actually the second time I’ve written this post! I had an absolute panic on Sunday night when I had a massive problem with my blog. I updated some plugins, which totally messed up the site, but when I tried to restore a back up it then appeared that I had somehow lost every single blog post I’d written in my three and a half years of blogging…it was pretty scary!
Thankfully, after I’d had a small meltdown (or you know, a massive meltdown that involved waking my mum up for no reason other than to have someone to meltdown to!) I rang the hosting company, which thankfully have a 24/7 customer support line, and the guy I spoke to was super helpful and managed to restore a back-up from the 1st February. Thankfully that got all of my content back from that date, but I lost my draft of this post that I had spent ages working on just hours before the meltdown, and some of the comments that I received after that date. So I’m so sorry if any of your comments have disappeared! I was actually up to date with all my comment replies as well (which makes a change), so I may have to re-reply to some of them. But considering I thought I’d lost everything, I can’t really complain!
But anyway, let’s talk about January!
January has seemed like a pretty long month for me, mostly because of the huge gap between the December and January paydays, and having to try and stretch my money that far. Although I think everyone else has been feeling the January pinch too, as its been super quiet at my work (I work on a deli counter). Whilst its been kind of nice after the Christmas rush, it does mean the days have been going super slow!
Thankfully I’ve been off work for the past week though, as I booked it off for my boyfriend’s birthday, which was last Saturday. We had a lovely week, mostly just spent relaxing, but we did go on a few trips out: a couple to nearby cities, once for a nice pub lunch and a trip to the arcade, and a trip to this really cool antique place full of everything from books and records to furniture, collectables and jewellery. It was literally like Aladdin’s cave, and it just seemed to go on and on forever! Every corner you turned there was another room packed full of random things, and we managed to spend a whole afternoon there just rummaging through stuff!
Unfortunately, it’s back to work though, this week, but I’m hoping things pick up a bit now it’s February, and I won’t be quite so bored.
This has actually been a record reading month for me, as I read 11 books this January! I kind of feel like I may have cheated a little though…but we’ll get to that in a minute!
I started out the year by reading Truthwitch by Susan Dennard which I really liked, followed The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty, which was enjoyable, if a little slow. I then went on a bit of a space opera kick, reading Revenger by Alastair Reynolds which was a fun, gritty sci-fi romp about space pirates (I pretty much read the word ‘space pirates’ on the back of the book in the shop and was like, ‘I’m in!’), followed by The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. People had been telling me to read it for literally months, and I don’t know why I didn’t get to it sooner because it was amazing! It was easily one of the best books I’ve read in a while.
I then read Breath of Fire, the second book in Amanda Bouchet’s Kingmaker Chronicles. It was OK, but I had a few issues with the book that I think I may discuss in an upcoming discussion post. So look out for that! I then read a good, but not overly memorable thriller, Friend Request by Laura Marshall, which leads me onto my ‘cheating’…
During my week off my boyfriend lent me five books in an adorable manga series called Yotsuba&!, about a little girl who moves into a new neighbourhood with her dad, and the adventures she has with her new neighbours. Why is this cheating you ask? Well, each book took me under an hour to read, so it didn’t really feel like reading a whole book…but that’s what it was, so I’m going to count it! It has certainly boosted my Goodreads Challenge score, but more importantly I found a great new manga series!
I’m now reading the third Stormlight Archive book by Brandon Sanderson called Oathbringer, which I finally managed to get out of the library. I loved The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance so much, so I was super excited when Oathbringer was released back in November… only to be disappointed to find out that it was only available as a hardback that cost £25.99. So obviously I didn’t buy it (and this actually prompted my rant about hardback books the other day!), and I’ve been watching out for it at the library ever since. Unfortunately it now means I’m carting an enormous hardback book to work and back with me every day, but I’m really enjoying the story so far!
I’m also pretty excited because I have the second Six Tudor Queens novel by Alison Weir lined up for when I’ve finished Oathbringer. Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession was actually released last May, but again it was only available as a hardback, so I’ve been waiting patiently ever since for the paperback release, and I finally have a copy!
This month has been a pretty decent writing month for me, as I’ve continued plodding along with my novel, and I’ve even had a go at writing a couple of short stories.
Does anyone else ever struggle with ending short stories though? I feel as if I can never think up endings that feel right, and don’t seem like either a huge letdown or a total bolt from the blue.
This has actually been a great month for blogging, aside from the whole ‘I think I’ve deleted my entire site meltdown’. I’ve posted more regularly than usual, and kept up with my comments (although some of my replies have now disappeared…), and made sure to visit other people’s blogs as well.
This has actually meant that my stats have been the best ever, which just goes to show a little effort pays off!
My discussions this month include:
- 5 More Great Podcasts For Writers
- What makes a good villain?
- 5 Genres I’d Like To Read More Often
- 5 Ways To Stay Creative On The Go
- How do you follow other blogs?
- My Hatred of Hardbacks
So how has your January been? What have you been reading/writing? Have you ever had a terrible blogging catastrophe like mine?