Last month’s Life Lately post was pretty doom-and-gloomy, what with the world having seemingly gone up in flames over the course of 2020, and this month the world is still much the same in that sense.
But on a personal level, this has been a really amazing month! In fact, I have some pretty huge news: my boyfriend Jay and I got engaged!
To be honest, we’ve been saying for a long time that we’re both basically in this for life, and have kind of known we would get married…but we’ve officially formalised it, just in time for our fifth anniversary! He officially asked me last week, and we went and picked a ring (an absolutely gorgeous ring, I might add!) and on Sunday we went down to tell my parents (which was really nice – they were so excited!).
I don’t want to get too soppy here, but I honestly couldn’t be happier. I get to spend the rest of my life with someone who’s not only the love of my life, but my best friend too!
We’re now both off work for the next week, as we booked it off for our fifth anniversary, which is on Thursday, so we’re hoping to celebrate with a few trips out (probably just walking and stuff, since restaurants and towns still seem like a no-no!), and also get in some chill time too.
In short, it’s been a pretty great month!
I’ve had a better reading month that last month, but things have still been fairly slow, and I’m pretty far behind on my Goodreads Challenge by this point.
I read four books in June, taking my total to 29 of 70 books, so I’m about 6 books behind…but there’s still six months of the year left to catch up!
The first book I read this month I was actually partway through during my last Life Lately post – I Was Born For This by Alice Hoffman, which I reviewed the other day. As I said in my review, I enjoyed the book, but perhaps not quite as much as I’d hoped?
I also read A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard, which I reviewed in the same post. I absolutely adored this book so much, probably because I related so much to Steffi, and the romance was absolutely adorable!
I also read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso, which was very different from what I expected, but I really enjoyed it. I feel like it took me quite a while to really get into it, and get fully invested in the characters, but it was worth it when I did.
This month I also finally got around to read Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, which has been on my TBR list for quite a while. There was a lot of things I loved about this book, from the Gothic-y feel to the Russia inspired setting and the cool magic system, but there was also a few downsides. I intend to review it soon though, so look out for that!
I also finished reading a writing craft book I’ve been slowly making my way through for some time: Fight Like A Girl by Aiki Flinthart. I actually heard about the book on the Creative Penn podcast and thought it sounded really interesting and like the kind of thing that would come in useful for my writing: it’s a book about the specifics of writing fight scenes, especially fight scenes involving women. Aiki Flinthart is an expert in martial arts, so the book felt very authoritative on the subject, and definitely covered a lot of aspects of fight scenes that I wouldn’t even have thought of! There was also some great stuff about weapons, fighting techniques, using the environment in fight scenes, and the emotional aftermath of having been in a fight. So definitely a lot of interesting stuff if you write in a genre that involves fight scenes!
I didn’t do much writing in June, but I’m hoping things will be different in July seen as I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo again.
Unfortunately we’re a few days in and I’m already behind… I don’t know what’s going on, because I was really excited to start writing this new story, but so far it has been a real struggle to get into it. Usually I find beginnings easy and it only starts to get hard around 15,000 to 20,000 words in, but so far every word seems like a struggle.
Right now I don’t know what to do, as I’m not sure if it’s writing itself I’m struggling with, or whether it’s just something specific to this story, so for now I’m just going to try and push through, I guess? I’m off work this week, so hopefully having lots of time to devote to it will help, and I’ll start to get into the story more.
This month I’ve still been playing ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ (it’s probably a bit sad, but I’ve been on it literally every day since it’s release back in March!).
I also got a new game for my Nintendo Switch: ’51 Worldwide Games’! It’s basically as it sounds: you can play 51 different games from around the world, from Chess to Solitaire, Chinese Checkers and Majhong. I mainly got it for the Chess to be honest, but I’ve been really enjoying trying out some new games, as the instructions make it really easy to pick things up (I had some excellent beginners luck in Texas Hold ‘Em, for example!).
A few songs I’ve had on repeat this month:
‘Doomsday’ by The Architects
‘Far From Home’ by Five Finger Death Punch
‘Brace Yourself’ by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
‘Finders Keepers’ by You Me At Six
My blogging has been pretty abysmal this past month until the last week or so. I’m trying to get back into blogging, and have mostly motivated myself by buying new stationary!
I bought myself a nice, 18-month Moleskine planner which I’m going to use to plan out my blog content, and also one of those gorgeous, brightly coloured Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks as a ‘blogging notebook’ to plan out my posts in. So hopefully my new stationary pays off and I become a much more productive blogger!
This past month I posted:
So how has your month been? What have you been reading? Anyone else taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo?