Well, August is here, and it’s ridiculously hot here in the UK (well…for the UK anyway!)! I should be grateful it isn’t raining for once, but since I work outside, I’ve been really struggling with the heat. Especially as we’ve been really short staffed at the moment so I’ve been doing a lot of overtime. The sun is all well and good for a while, but after a few hours of walking around in it carrying heavy bags it gets a bit much (I’m a postwoman, in case you were wondering!).
It kind of feels like I haven’t done much other than work this month, and part of that is being tired, but I also still feel reluctant to actually go anywhere, what with everything still going on. I know there have been a few regional lockdowns near here because of rising COVID-19 cases in those areas, so it still feels like the best idea to just stay at home. It has been nice being able to see my family some more though, and I did have a nice catch-up with a friend this month too.
I’m still hoping for some kind of normality soon, but let’s face it: it’s going to be a very long time coming.
This has actually been a really good reading month for me, as I read 8 books, taking me to 38 books of 70 in my Goodreads Challenge (I’m still behind, but hopefully I’ll catch up!).
I started the month by binge reading the two books out so far in Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely series, and wow…what a wild ride! I absolutely adored A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and whilst I came around to A Heart So Fierce and Broken as I got further in, I was a little disappointed by the change in main characters. I loved Harper in the first book, but was a lot less keen on Lia Mara.
I then read Story Genius by Lisa Cron to try and help me with the story I was working on during Camp NaNoWriMo, and I have to say, it really worked! This book was is easily one of the best writing craft books I’ve read (alongside Save the Cat! Writes A Novel), and made me think about story in a completely new way…I think I must have bookmarked every other page in this book on my Kindle, as it was so full of useful information. It really helped me get to know my characters better and get to the bottom of what they really wanted, and even though it meant rewriting the first bit of my book, it really helped me get back on track with it.
I was then in a bit of a rereading mood and decided to go back and reread my favourite book from the ACOTAR series, A Court of Mist and Fury. I definitely still really enjoyed it, but perhaps not as much as I remembered, which was a bit disappointing!
I then read another writing craft book to try and keep my writing motivation going strong: I read 2K to 10K by Rachel Aaron, which is all about how she went from writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000. There was some really helpful hints in this book, but I have to say…I’m still only writing 1,000 – 2,000 words a day! Especially with how much I’ve been working recently.
I also read a couple of thrillers this month, which is a genre I haven’t ventured into in a while. The first one was Finding Grace by K.L. Slater, which wasn’t mind-blowing, but was gripping enough that I zipped through it in just two days. I also read My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, which I’m not really sure is a thriller so much as a very, very dark literary novel… It was definitely one of the more disturbing books I’ve read though, and whilst it was compelling, I’m not sure that I actually enjoyed it all that much (but I don’t know what I expected really…you know from reading the blurb it’s going to be an uncomfortable read!).
And finally I read a book that I’ve had sitting on my shelf for quite a while: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. I loved the concept of this book, and thought it was executed well, with amazing world-building and really lush descriptions. Plus the villain was super chilling!
I’m now reading Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust, which I’m enjoying so far!
As I wrote about the other day, I didn’t hit my 60,000 word Camp NaNo goal in July, but I was just glad to finally get into my story after struggling so much with it and having to rewrite the beginning. I’ve continued working on it through the start of August, and I’m finally happy with where it’s going.
I also started using new writing software, as I’d been using Google Docs since getting my Google Chromebook, but I was wanting something more like Scrivener (which isn’t available on Chromebooks). After seeing discount of something called Novlr on the Camp NaNo website I gave the free trial a go, and I’ve been really liking it so far! I’ll hopefully write a review post soon.
I’ve been listening to a mixture of newly discovered songs and some old favourites recently, including:
‘Today I Saw The Whole World’ by Pierce The Veil
‘Disarm’ cover by Silverstein
‘Of All The Gin Joints In All The World’ by Fall Out Boy
‘A Reason To Fight’ by Disturbed
My fiance and I randomly decided a while ago to watch Pokemon all the way from the beginning, so we’ve been gradually working our way through it, and are now partway through Ruby and Sapphire. The first few series were a trip down memory lane, because they’re the ones I watched as a kid, but now we’re in unfamiliar territory!
Yes, I’m still playing Animal Crossing! I basically terraformed my entire island and then saw what other people have done on their islands through the new Dream Suite thing, and decided I hadn’t been creative enough. So I’m redoing it all!
I’ve also started playing Pokemon Omega Ruby after getting in a Pokemon mood thanks to watching the show.
I’m pretty happy with the amount of posts I’ve posted this past month (I’ve been trying to get back into blogging!), and I’ve especially been enjoying writing my new blog series Trope Time!
Here’s what I posted this past month:
So how was your month? What have you been reading/watching/listening to this month?