January seems to have dragged on, as Januaries often do, but on the whole I’ve had a decent month. Work has been relatively quiet and unstressful compared to the Christmas rush, and I’ve been enjoying taking it easier!
It also helps that I’ve been off work for two weeks thanks to some annual leave I had to use up (I’m back in tomorrow unfortunately though). I haven’t really done much with my time off to be honest, other than staying at home and chilling in my pyjamas, but I feel like I really needed the break.
Plus I got in loads of reading and writing time, which has been nice! I’ve also done a spot of baking (brownies and crispy cakes, so nothing too advanced!), tried out a few recipes, transformed my overly cluttered spare room into a home office (perfect for writing) and done some cat sitting.
The cat we’ve been looking after is my boyfriend’s sister’s cat and he’s lovely, but has been a little troublesome! For one thing, he peed on our bed, pooped on the kitchen floor, knocked off some glasses and smashed them, and also has a tendency to start meowing at 5 in the morning… But he is super cute though, and likes cuddling up to me while I read!
Since my last Life Lately post I’ve read 6 more books, taking my Goodreads total up to 9 out of 70 books! So I feel like I’m starting the year out with a nice lead! Hopefully I can keep it up.
I started out reading Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second book in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series. The book was a little slow starting, but once it picked up, it did so in a big way! I loved the pirate aspect of this book, and I absolutely adored the continuing bromance between Jean and Locke! They are the best thing about the entire series for sure!
I then read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson for a bit of a change of pace, and I really liked it. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was definitely a fun book (I adore road trip books!), with likeable characters and an emotional back story.
I also read Grit: Why Passion and Resilience Are The Secrets To Success by Angela Duckworth, which was an incredibly interesting book! It was a lot heavier on the psychology aspect and lighter on the self-help than I expected, but I actually really liked that! And now I know why I’m such an unmotivated procrastinator, so hopefully I can learn to be more gritty!
I also randomly read an urban/paranormal fantasy book this month, which isn’t a genre I read too often. And I actually found myself really enjoying it! I read Chase the Dark by Annette Marie, which appears to be part of a series, so I’ll definitely be reading more at some point.
I also finally got around to reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer this month which has been on my TBR list since forever. I’ve actually started it a couple of times and put it down, because the opening didn’t really capture me, but I’m glad I eventually stuck with it. I adored Jest, the main love interest, and the whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland.
And finally I read A Tapestry of Treason by Anne O’ Brien, which was about Lady Constance Despenser, a woman who was at the heart of various plots against Henry IV. She wasn’t exactly the most likeable character, but her story was absolutely fascinating!
In manga news, I’m finally completely up-to-date with One Piece! The only thing is I now need to wait for the new chapters to come up weekly on the Shonen Jump app, so no more binge reading! I’ve had to turn to Naruto for my manga binge reads now.
Since I’m taking part in a yearly writing challenge this year, I’ve been keeping track of my monthly word count in a spreadsheet. So I can report that I wrote a grand total of 16,602 words this month! I feel like that’s not too bad, but since my yearly total is 250K words, I should probably have been hitting 20,000 a month. Hopefully I can make it up in February!
One exciting thing in my writing life this month though, has been the setting up of my little writing nook! Since my boyfriend and I moved into our house last July we’ve had a spare bedroom, but until a few days ago it was so rammed full of boxes that you could barely open the door (both my boyfriend and I have a lot of stuff!). We have a desk downstairs, but my boyfriend’s computer is set up there, and since he spends a lot of time gaming there, it made sense for me to have my own desk somewhere else (preferably in a less distracting area of the house!).
So I spent a couple of days this past week sorting through the boxes in our spare room and moving some into our bedroom (I’ve put a lot of stuff under the bed and on top of wardrobes etc.), and managed to clear a good half of the room to use as a home office.
This is what it looks like right now:
As you can see, I still need to make it a bit more of an inspiring space, and I definitely need to get a more comfortable chair (yes, that is a garden chair!), but I’m just so excited to have a proper writing space (and slightly impressed with myself that I successfully managed to build that IKEA flat pack table on my own…I’m not the most practical person!)! I want to get maybe a little drawer unit or something for notepads and pens etc., and maybe a few decorative items for the window sill and on the walls, and then I think it’ll be perfect.
Yes, if I turn to my right I’ll can see a great big mountain of boxes, which isn’t super inspiring, but in time, we’ll hopefully be able to sort through them and turn it into a bit of a reading room too.
Since my boyfriend and I have been off work these past couple of weeks we’ve started binge watching ‘My Hero Academia’, which has been really good so far! We’re currently part way through season 2!
A few of my favourite tracks this month have been:
‘Spit It Out’ by Slipknot
‘The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows’ by Brand New
‘Underdog’ by You Me At Six
‘Want You Bad’ by The Offspring
I’ve also made a decent start on one of the audiobooks from my Audiobook TBR post, The Great Courses: How To Write Best-Selling Fiction by James Scott Bell.
I haven’t been overly active on the blog this past month, but hopefully I’ll be newly inspired now I have my new writing space!
This month I posted:
So how is your 2020 shaping up so far? What have you been reading?