Ah, February. How I loathe thee. Winters are always dangerous for me because of all my health issues, but this year I found out my wind resistance is either zero or negative. It’s been a stormy month but not very cold. I always thought I was bad at handling the cold. Turns out I was wrong. It’s the cold wind that makes it painful to breathe, that sets my throat on fire, and makes my lungs feel like they’re made of metal.
So I spent most of the month in recovery mode which means my productivity tanked. I wrote two book reviews and four Friday posts for Narratess and only posted here once. I’m still on track for those goals, and I’m even a little ahead because I already have six (including this one) posts for my twenty post goal for Princess.
I finished four more books, two for book tours and two for Netgalley. Netgalley is a service that connects book reviewers, librarians and other professionals with publishers/authors. We get a free book in exchange for a review. This is usually to get reviews ahead of release and create hype. Goodreads says I’m four books ahead of schedule, but I know that once I start reading the real chonks (which is my goal this year) I’ll only finish one or maybe two books a month. Even when I’m actively working on my ‘reading once a day’ habit, a book with over 600 pages (and maybe even 800 pages) will take up significantly more time than a 230-page young adult romance.
Look, I’m an idiot. I said I wouldn’t do book tours a few years ago when I started adding more book-related posts to Narratess. Then I said I wouldn’t request more books from Netgalley because of the added pressure through reading deadlines. But I’ve done four book tours so far and I have a few more coming up. I also request four more titles on Netgalley last weekend. Sigh.
For games, there was only one: Wolcen. I already talked about it in a previous post and I’ll talk more about it in the future, but the bad weather also affected my hands. I wanted to play more Pokemon, more Stardew Valley, maybe even get back into Guild Wars, but none of that happened. And that’s okay.
Instead of gaming, I dived back into non-fiction. I started watching more videos on writing and personal development. Even on Netflix, I felt like I wanted to watch more documentaries or reality tv than sitcoms or fantasy series. It’s unusual for me to have this kind of clarity when my body is feeling like crap. Brain fog is real. So it’s a strange experience when my brain acts like a sponge and just wants to soak up everything. My headache isn’t gone (heck, it might be worse than other days) but I can think! I can process information! I draw conclusions based on the information I have! I can apply theory to practice! Seriously, it’s been years since I’ve experienced this.
It made me want to be more productive. So even though I didn’t post more or play more, I did write more. I finished a piece of flash fiction and submitted it (no word back yet), and my short story (granted, written in December) was selected as a finalist. The finalists were selected by industry professionals out of at least a hundred submissions. Knowing that these people loved my story enough to pick it as a finalist is huge and a great motivator to keep writing. I know some of you have voted, so thank you! 29th of March I know if I’ve won or not.
So I’m working hard on my writing career. I made a rough publishing outline for this year and a wishlist of books I want to write. For now, I’m still focusing on finishing the Infernal Contracts trilogy. Book 2 is getting a second draft with more words, better scenes and character growth. It hurt initially when I missed the December deadline, but I truly believe it’ll be a much better book now. I’m going to write the outline for book 3 when it’s with beta readers, so I can jump right in when the final draft is done.
March will be busy with nearly all of my weekends filled up with exhausting events. So I hope I can get my writing and editing done. I’ll do my best to post here more frequently (I still have so many drafts I want to finish), but Narratess comes first.