July has been a pretty good month for me, mostly because I was off work for almost half of it! I had a full 2 weeks booked off, and it was so nice just to have some proper time to relax, get out and do some things and spend time with my boyfriend, friends and family. And thankfully the weather cooperated for most of it, and stayed nice and sunny!
I spent a lot of the holiday at my boyfriend’s, and we ended up going on several really nice day trips. We went to the Liverpool World Musuem one day, which was fun, as I hadn’t been there in quite a while. Not much had changed, but I always find something new and interesting to look at. I always especially love the Ancient Egypt bit, as I’ve always found that a fascinating topic, even if it is slightly creepy to find yourself in the presence of really old human remains… It kind of made me want to write something Ancient Egyptian based though? But that would involve so much research!
We also went to the famous Bury Market for a look around and I can attest to the fact it’s ENORMOUS! It’s definitely one of the best markets I’ve been to, and is especially great for food (Bury pies and black pudding are famous after all!). We also wandered into Bury town centre, and there was so much more there than I expected, what with it being a town rather than a city. It was definitely worth a visit!
We also went walking up Beacon Fell with some friends and my dog Molly, which was really nice. We then drove on to Dunsop Bridge, a little village that has two strange claims to fame. It’s apparently the exact centre of Britain (turns out no it isn’t…the exact centre is privately owned, and Dunsop Bridge is just the nearest village!) and is home to the 100,000th phone box. So yeah…
I also went to the Trafford Centre with my sister, my little niece and my friend which was lovely, and I visited a huge antiques place in Crewe with my parents.
So all in all it was a lovely two weeks off, with plenty of chilled time too, where I got loads of reading done!
I read 5 books this month, taking my Goodreads total to 39 out of 60, which I’m pretty pleased about, as it puts me three books ahead of schedule.
I started out the month with a non-fiction book by Della Galton called How To Write and Sell Short Stories. I’ve had this on my Kindle for a while, but finally decided to read it because I was writing short stories for my Camp NaNo project (which turned out to be way harder than I had thought!). It was a good book, with plenty of helpful advice, but was definitely geared more towards writers of the types of story that appear in women’s magazines. A few of my stories fit that bill, but most of them were fantasy, sci-fi and even historical fiction.
I then finally got round to reading the final book in Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy, Last Argument of Kings. I’d been apprehensive about this one because I had thought the first book was OK, but absolutely adored the second, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with the third. Thankfully I loved it, and fully intend to read the rest of Joe Abercombie’s books that are set in that world!
I then read a thriller I had been recommended by someone from work, that I ended up absolutely devouring over two days. It was called After I’ve Gone by Linda Green and was absolutely fantastic! Look out for my upcoming review of that one because it was incredibly gripping!
I also read To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, which I know has been really popular in the blogosphere lately. That always makes me kind of nervous in case it doesn’t live up to my expectations, but thankfully I really enjoyed it.
I then finished off the month by reading Graceling by Kristen Cashore, and whilst it took me a while to get into it, I ended up loving it! Katsa and Po were just adorable, and I’m excited to see that there’s a book entirely devoted to the character of Bitterblue later in the series.
As I’ve already posted about, I completed Camp NaNoWriMo this month and wrote 30,000 words worth of short stories. I definitely think some of them might end up being decent with some editing, although there’s definitely a few not so great ones in there too!
In August I plan to try and edit some and maybe enter some competitions with them, or send them off to potential markets. I’d also like to try editing one of my two completed novel manuscripts I have lying about, but just have no idea where to stay. So if anyone has any editing tips they can share, it would be much appreciated!
I finally finished watching ‘Vikings’ this month, and am now excitedly waiting for the second part of season 5 to be released…although I’ll have to wait until November. The new trailer for it looks good though!
I’m now between shows though, and am struggling to decide what to watch next. There are so many things I’ve been meaning to watch for ages, but now it’s come to it, I just don’t feel in the mood for any of them.
My boyfriend and I did watch some movies though while we were off work, and I’m glad to say I finally watched ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’, and I loved it! I don’t know what took me so long!
We also watched ‘Zootropolis’ (I believe it’s called Zootopia in America though?) which is a Disney film I hadn’t seen, and it was just so cute! We also watched ‘Tangled’, and I finally got to see the end of it, seen as I’ve only ever caught bits of it before when my nephew and nieces have been watching it. It was so adorable and hilarious (I especially love the grumpy horse!)!
Podcast-wise this month I’ve been continuing to listen to back list episodes of 88 Cups of Tea, which I discovered at the end of last month and loved. There’s a lot of popular YA authors being interviewed on there, including Sarah J. Maas, V.E. Schwab and Holly Black, so I would definitely recommend it!
I’ve also been continuing to enjoy the Petal to the Metal podcast, which has just transitioned into ‘The Writer’s Well.’
On the music side of things, I’ve been randomly listening to a lot of Disney music recently (I seem to be in a Disney kind of mood at the moment!)! I’ve also been really enjoying these tracks:
- ’Dance Macabre’ by Ghost
- ‘Rose-Colored Boy’ by Paramore
- ‘Descending Angel’ by Misfits
- ‘Scream With Me’ by Mudvayne
- ‘Happy Song’ by Bring Me The Horizon
I’ve posted a few discussions/lists on the blog this month:
- 6 Easy Crafts to Try
- ‘I’d love to read, if I had the time.’
- My Funko Pop Wish List
- Long Chapters vs. Short Chapters
So how was your July? What have you been reading/writing? Did you take part in Camp NaNoWriMo?