An April 2023 wrap up
Where March was a start in establishing routines again, April left me feeling like I was starting to make some progress. I found myself also doing a lot of planning and scheduling and I would hit days where I was productive in one thing, then take a time to break to rest and get back at it. I’m still not back at the pace and productivity I was pre- cancer and COVID-19, but I’ve achieved more for April than any other month for the last few years. And it’s only going to get better as my health improves and my routines become more familiar.
Once you’re in the habit of writing regularly some great things happen! J
It Starts With Us (#2 It Ends With Us), Rebel (#4 Legend), The Glory of the Empress (#2 Admiral), Trust in Me (#1.5 Wait for You), The Taking of Jake Livingston, Finding Perfect (#2.6 Hopeless), Fault Tolerance (#3 Chilling Effect), Stolen (#0.5 Taken), Neon Zero (#0.5 Neon), In the Heart of the Fire (#1 Nameless), Feast of the Swamp Goblin
This month I managed to read 11 books and I was aiming for higher, but I hit a mini-slump while reading ‘Fault Tolerance’ (#3 Chilling Effect,) and getting sucked into my re-watch of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ from season 1. I think the number of books is artificially bolstered by 5 novellas.
I managed to finish off 4 (possibly 5, depending if the ‘Chilling Effect’ franchise is going to venture past a trilogy) book series this month. Most of my reads were new purchases to complete series I’d already started, so there were only 5 off my #BeatTheBacklist goals. I even read e-books – which is not common for me. I tend to favour physical copies.
My book buying ban is still in place with no new purchases in this month – all the new books are still from the Christmas presents I obtained with gift cards, or free from Amazon Prime when I signed up years ago and have never gotten around to reading. I’m trying to make an effort to get through some more e-books each month.
My TBR has come down to 296 from 303
I am giving myself a huge pat on the back – I completed the first draft of my Aussie outback romance novella. It turned out longer than I anticipated and was way more fun to write. All of this repressed knowledge from growing up in Alice Springs (around where the novella is set) and desert survival skills came into play. And I felt like my humour was popping up in all the right places. I’ll sit this aside for a few months before my next pass to give it some fresh eyes.
There was hope I would get to complete a contemporary novel that I was over half-way through before I started chemotherapy and had to stop, but because my word count on the novella was much higher than I was aiming – and the amount of time spent ran over, I had a less number of days to tackle this novel. But I managed to get a little done and will carry it over into May. I’m hoping the first draft will be completed next month.
I spent a chunk of April organising and scheduling my writing and blogging time – drafting out articles and daily wordcounts. As a result I have the entire rest of 2023 blogs planned and am aiming for at least another 5-6 first drafts of novels/novella for the year. After years of little or no productivity, my health and enthusiasm returned, I’m aiming for as many first drafts to be completed this year (so I can feel like I’m actually getting some work done) and then complete 2nd and final drafts and put them out for submission near the end of the year, or in the first half of 2024.
There have been some great new shows to indulge in for April, but after a huge viewing month in March, I wanted to pull back a little and make sure I’m keeping my time productive.
Grease : Rise of the Pink Ladies, Not Dead Yet, Schmigadoon (Season 2), Shadow and Bone (Season 2), Star Trek : Picard (Season 3), Star Wars : The Mandalorian (Season 3), Outer Banks (Season 3), and Gotham Knights.
Loved Season 2 of ‘Shadow and Bone’ – though I can see how they are trying to stretch out the ‘crows’ storyline for another season and connect those characters to Mal and Alina… it wasn’t as smooth as I’d like. But I’m really excited for the musical series ‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies’ tackling surprisingly current social political issues in something set in the 50’s. Plus the singing is absolutely fantastic with numerous powerhouse performances. Totally lives up to the legacy of the original film.
Re-watching Seasons of ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ I stopped watching this over ten years ago because of a housemate that hated the show, and I really miss it. So I’m starting from the beginning and plan to get up to date in the coming months. The drama! The blood and guts! I have to be careful not to lose a day indulging.
Movies: Murder Mystery 2, Shazam : Fury of the Gods, 65, Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Ghosted, and re-watched Edge of Tomorrow.
I have to say the stand out was ‘Ghosted’ – the cameos, the humour, I loved it! And still a fan of the Marvel movies and enjoyed how ‘Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ kicked off Phase 5 of the MCU. I really hope we get more Ant-man and the Wasp in the future, they are one of my favourites in the franchise.
This month the initiative to reconnect with friends is going great. It gives me warm fuzzies inside to catch up on our lives and share experiences again. There is so much going on in our lives and I’m thankful to still be able to share with them like we are sitting around the lounge with a cup of tea or glass of wine. There’s even preliminary talk of arranging a reunion towards the end of the year given we are all scattered across the continent.
I’m trying to build relationships with fellow bloggers, but they don’t tend to engage after a quick response to a comment or question. I might have to shift to a different medium if I want to be a part of, and build a community. Bloggers either seem to be time-poor or only interested in their statistics… maybe that’s a presumptuous blanket statement, but it’s been my experience so far.
Or if you want to recommend any great blogs that centre around reading and writing comment below!
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