End of the Month Wrap-Up: July 2019!

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Where did July go? How is it over already? I spent a good chunk of the early part of the month redoing our walk-in closet; there was a quick weekend getaway to an event late in the month; there was a lot of going to work, and working on writing. And reading. Of course, so much reading, so let’s start there.

Reading: Thirteen books this month. I finished the monthly challenge for The Reading Frenzy, though I did substitute two of the original books, one because I had a better choice when I thought about it, and the other because the original book was so long I might not have finished it in time. I’m still ahead of the curve on all three of my year-long challenges. It was a good month for good reads, too, I gave three books five-star ratings: Saga, Vol. 4; Caliban’s War; and Strange the Dreamer.

Writing: I started the month fantastic by finding three beta readers for #spookyromancenovel, via open call on Tumblr, in less than 24 hours. Which was about a week faster than I expected that to happen. I tested out BetaBooks as a service, only to be disappointed that I sent them a help request in that first week, and I still haven’t gotten an answer. (Yes, I’ve checked my spam folder.) I know this is only one negative incident, but it doesn’t inspire confidence; I doubt I’ll be using them for any future beta sessions. Because that happened, I ended up making a Google Doc anyway (just like I’d done for my previous three books during their beta rounds) which meant I wasn’t limited to any certain number of readers, and I picked up two more. The feedback is coming in, and it’s been helpful, though I’m trying not to look at most of it until I’m ready to sit down and do something about it. Because my extra readers got in late, I’m not holding them to the original deadline and I won’t be ready to start the next revision draft at the beginning of August, as I’d hoped. But that’s life for you.

I have been using some of this time not spent project-writing to get ahead on blog posts, to be more active on Tumblr (in spurts, anyway) and to start planning work for the next (possible) novel project, a romance in the same setting as #spookyromancenovel, involving one of its supporting characters getting her own love story. I want it to happen, I want to make this a series, but we’ll see. I’m already not thrilled about the plot I’ve constructed, because planning like this feels so forced to me, the perennial pantser. The more I work with the skeleton, though, the more ideas I get, and everyone knows outlines can change!

Everything else: The insane heat this year has kept me inside more than I’d like, so my running schedule fell apart. I’m forgiving myself, because a) I’m still adjusting to an entirely new life schedule, thanks to my new job–I’ve only been there a few months!–and b) because I’ve spent that time doing yoga instead. Which, since I’m out of practice, has led to its own frustrations, but the only way to get better is to keep doing it, so I am.

I’m journaling again, not every day but certainly more than I was any other time this year. Most of it is of the very-personal-don’t-share kind, so my journal sideblog on Tumblr hasn’t seen any action, but I wouldn’t rule it out in the near future.

Also, strangely enough given the demands on my time, I got frustrated that I’ve started so many video games in recent years and not finished them, so I made a list about a week ago, stuff that needs completion and games I want to start, old or new. Since then I’ve finished Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and permanently abandoned King’s Quest, which I had already given up on once because Chapter 2 was so stupidly confusing, and this time because I’ve started Chapter 5 and I’m simply bored of it. The first chapter was so strong and engaging, and everything since has mostly felt like a chore.

While I have three more unfinished games that are high-priority for returning to soon, but also, we went to see Spiderman: Far From Home last week, and the PS4 Spiderman game is high on my list to start, so I think that’s happening next. I do love me some web-slinging.

Moving on to August 2019 goals:

  1. Collect, read, and digest all the beta feedback. Formulate a plan for the next draft, and time permitting, get started. While waiting to do that, continue planning its sequel.
  2. Continue doing yoga every day (or as close to every day as I can manage without injuring myself.)
  3. Run at least twice a week, preferably three times.
  4. Complete The Reading Frenzy’s challenge for August, the Bookish Treasure Hunt. (Six books)
  5. Maybe try to finish Saga? I used up my remaining Hoopla borrows for July getting volumes 5-7, so then if I use two more in August, that’s the whole series. And I can read a volume in one sitting.
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