Life Lately #47

11/08/2020 Lifestyle, Personal 12

Life Lately

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.

Reading

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!

Writing

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.

Listening

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

Watching

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!

Gaming

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.

Blogging

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:

My Reading Recommendations: Historical Fiction

Trope Time: The Chosen One

Camp NaNoWriMo 2020: Mid Month Update

Mini Reviews: ‘The Wolf of Oren Yaro’ and ‘The Ruin of Kings’

Trope Time: Mentors

Camp NaNoWriMo 2020 Wrap-Up

Trope Time: Strong Female Protagonists

So how was your month? What have you been reading/watching/listening to this month?

12 Responses to “Life Lately #47”

  1. Kristina

    Oof, I hear you for the heat! That’s something I could never.. hell, I work inside and got a heat stroke! 🤦🏽‍♀️ (Okay- given the AC was stuck on heat and needed fixing but still..)

    Ahh!! I’m going down the nostalgia lane too- not with watching pokemon though, but I started to watch Cardcaptor Sakura!! I swear I remembered some of thoses.. while I had totally forgotten some parts and details of it. Crazy how the brain works.

    • Laura

      Oh no! That really isn’t good when you get heat stroke indoors (I can’t imagine how hot that must have been with the heating going though!).
      And yay for nostalgia! I’ve never actually watched Cardcaptor Sakura! Maybe I’ll have to check it out sometime.

  2. Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity

    Wow, this heatwave is poorly timed for you stuck working. I hope you’ve been alright the past couple of days when temperatures have really started to climb. It’s the humidity which has been killer. And I know what you mean, it’s good we have more freedom but then with regional lockdowns you begin to question if you want to. It’s all about finding our own comfort level with things but hopefully you’ll fill ready to go out a little more soon so you can see more of friends and family. It’s certainly helped me having a touch more freedom to get out. And I’ve been meaning to read Brigid Kemmerer’s series but there’s a 3rd book in that series isn’t there? I’m waiting for that before I start reading.

    • Laura

      I totally agree it’s the humidity that is the worst! Plus it makes my hair frizz!
      And yeah, it’s tough to know what to do, because I really want to go out and about, but you wonder if you should? And when you do it’s not like anything feels normal yet. But I’ve definitely been enjoying having a little more freedom too, and getting out and about a little more.
      I think there is another book in that series coming out in January I think? I hope you enjoy the series when you read it!

  3. Chana @ Paper Procrastinators

    Ahh, I hope you stay safe and hydrated while working 💕💕 It must be so hard to be working outside in the summer, especially when so many people are inside and working remotely. Oooh, you look like you had such a good reading month! I still have to read A Heart to Fierce and Broken, and I can’t wait because I really enjoyed a Curse so Dark and Lonely. I hope you have a great August!

    • Laura

      Thanks! 🙂
      I really hope you enjoy A Heart So Fierce and Broken, and I hope you’re having a great August!

  4. Catherine@basedonthebook

    The heat in work is definitely not fun, we’ve got a glass roof and no air-con in our place. I didn’t know about Saves the Cat writes a novel – will have to look it out, the screenwriting one was so helpful! (Also I’ve tagged you in the Medieval Queens tag at Jessticulates if you fancy it. Thought it might be your sort of thing 🙂

    • Laura

      A glass roof doesn’t sound good in this weather! I bet it heats up like a greenhouse!
      I hope you find Saves the Cat writes a novel useful! I know I did. And thanks for the tag! That does look right up my street! 🙂

  5. Mimi

    Hey,

    your taste in music is awesome! 🙂 I’ve participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and won, but I only had a goal of 15k words (almost didn’t achieve that, though). I’m extremely lazy and slow when it comes to writing this year. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. 🙁

    Btw, I’ve also read the “2,000 to 10,000” book some years ago. It was interesting, but just like you, I still only write 1,000 – 2,000 a day, sometimes even less. 😛

    Have a great day!
    Mimi

    • Laura

      Thanks!
      And congrats on hitting your goal! 15k words is amazing! 🙂 And to be honest, I think a lot of people have probably been a bit slow on the writing front this year. I’ve been struggling to get into the headspace for writing myself what with COVID and everything.
      And I’m glad you found the 2K – 10K book interesting too! I think there’s some great tips in there, but it hasn’t made me magically able to write more.
      I hope you’re having a great August! 🙂

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