May 2018 has passed in a blur of university reports, crises at work, and increasingly chilly weather. As a result, motivation levels have been low and fatigue levels high…and I can honestly say I’ve never been gladder to enter the mid-year exam period! This month, I am introducing another new segment titled New Blog Posts, where I will provide images of and links to the posts I published during the previous few weeks 🙂 Please read on to find out what else I’ve been up to…
Progress is moving at a snail’s pace for this one! Holding Up the Sky is my contemporary YA novel, for which I am currently writing the third draft. I’ve now completed the first 5 chapters, and while this is only 1.25 chapters more than what I reported at the end of April, I have hope I’ll be much further in by the end of June. Despite this glacially slow progress, I am currently very happy with the quality of the writing. And that’s what important, right? The only deadlines I have are the ones I set myself, so I’ve decided to stop stressing out so much and just enjoy what I’m doing. I’ll get there eventually! You can read Chapter 1 here.
STATUS: writing draft #3
WORD COUNT: 18,500 / 90,000 (20%)
Last month, I reported that I wouldn’t start editing my epic fantasy novel Old Blood until the bulk of Holding Up the Sky‘s third draft is done. Well, guess what? I’ve changed my mind again! I just couldn’t resist! Last week, I decimated an entire tree to print out the 450 double-spaced pages of Old Blood, then plonked myself down and read it cover-to-cover in one 14-hour sitting! I was exhausted by the end of it, and slightly hysterical at the daunting prospect at now editing the damn thing, but also super excited too! Now I plan to spend the next two or so months editing before starting the second draft. You can read a special excerpt here.
STATUS: conducting first-round edits
WORD COUNT: 166,000
NEW BLOG POSTS
BOOKS I READ
Feyre’s first Winter Solstice as High Lady is drawing near. With it will come a hard-earned rest from the work she, Rhysand and their friends have done to rebuild the Night Court. Yet the festive atmosphere can’t keep shadows from looming. Even as her own hear heals, she finds that those dearest to her have wounds that go deeper than she knew.
MY THOUGHTS: I didn’t expect a HEAP from this, given it’s a “novella” to bridge the gap between the original trilogy and the new one. I smashed through it in one night, however, and though I would have liked a bit more of an underlying plot, I immensely enjoyed the story!
GENRE: high fantasy| NA
SERIES: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5
In the windswept north, Ringil is running out of patience, Egar is itching for a fight, and Archeth is desperate to reclaim her heritage. But the Dark Court, the Empire, and the demonic Aldrain have not finished with the three heroic outcasts, and a war fought thousands of years ago is set to repeat itself. A dark lord will surely rise. But who?
MY THOUGHTS: I have never read a fantasy series quite like this one, and somehow I doubt I ever will again. The last few chapters left me shaking from head to toe, unsure whether I wanted to laugh or cry or both—just as I suspected they would.
GENRE: epic fantasy| LGBT
SERIES: A Land Fit For Heroes #3
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. Embarking on his Grand Tour with his sister and best friend (and secret crush), one reckless decision turns their trip into a harrowing manhunt across Europe that calls into question everything Monty knows about himself, and the boy he adores.
MY THOUGHTS: Monty is the type of character that I just love to read about: brash, impulsive and unapologetically flawed, but nursing tragically low self-esteem. Watching him grow throughout the course of this book was such a pleasure!
GENRE: historical | YA/NA | LGBT
SERIES: Guide #1
A princess. A soldier. A hunter. A traitor. A thief. As the kingdoms’ alliances shift and shatter, five young people find their futures inextricably linked by a mysterious bottle of demon smoke, and by the unpredictable tides of war. Who will rise, who will fall, and who will unlock the secrets of the smoke?
MY THOUGHTS: I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Sally Green’s Half Bad trilogy (a nearly impossible feat, anyway), but it was a strong start to an intriguing new series. It was entertaining to see each of the five MCs’ stories intertwine and merge towards the end.
GENRE: high fantasy | YA
SERIES: The Smoke Thieves #1
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
Despite the multitude of quotable quotes I could have selected from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I ultimately HAD to pick one from the series that has consumed the last several months of my life. The above excerpt is from MC Ringil’s last POV chapter in The Dark Defiles, and it had me sobbing with equal parts pride and sorrow. It’s hard to describe how incredibly powerful it is to someone who hasn’t read these books and without giving away major spoilers, but I think you can still get the gist of it based on the last few lines alone.
LIFE IN GENERAL
Despite the honestly ridiculous number of university assignments I’ve had to wade through this month, I managed to stow away a little time for other things. My key highlights for the last several weeks are:
- changing the cover image of my website (isn’t it STUNNING?)
- celebrating Mothers Day by allowing my mother to read the first four chapters of Holding Up the Sky
- graduating from my Honours degree, which I finished last year
- finishing uni classes for semester 1—now to study for exams!
What progress did you make with your writing this month? Did you read any good books? Tell me about your highlights and favourite quotes!