Currently listening: “Heart” – Sleeping at Last Currently watching:Anne With An E S3 Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix Currently reading:Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Every year March usually passes by in the images of onion soup warming my belly to mashed potatoes cooking on the stove, wool coats turning into green hoodies and the brush of winter’s shadow thawing into spring light. Marches come and go in my mind as if they were vestibules in an office building, that middle bit sandwiched between the outside of February and the inside of April.
A lot happened this month. I started to take on more duties at work because of a recent promotion I received which means, even though it makes me sad to leave my old position, this new job is a lot more stable and beneficial for the long run. I got two rejections so far from the three writing submissions I made this month but that’s all part of the process. Then lastly, I got news of an appointment for my COVID vaccine. So life is continuing on. Steadily and also all at once.
My mood overall this month has been in constant flux ranging from utter despair to complete bliss. I think we all can agree we want this pandemic to be over and for life to go back to the way it was. Life will never go back to exactly how it was but because of this I want to believe all of us will be more grateful for all the opportunities to do things that will come in the future. A little gratitude and kindness goes a long way. Truly.
Make more mindful and healthy food choices! Check. I ate a lot better this month than I did last month. Love broccoli, might marry it one day.
Finish the middle bit of The Lowell Saga! Check, sorta. I plotted the middle bit and the ending, but didn’t get to writing the actual words. But at least I have a plan. That was better than the no plan I had before.
Find more focus in my life! Check, mostly. In March, I got my shit together in my work and writing lives. I have a plan for my writing life, & I have a stable job for my work life but my shit in my personal life is still a little unstable. It’s fine, everything is fine.
April (the month where the tulips bloom on my lawn) Goals:
Watch my sugar intake! I am a sugar addict. Give me Nutella and Ben & Jerry’s any day. (Like, legit I just tried Chubby Hubby this month and it is the greatest thing ever. Where has this been all my life??? I ate the whole thing in one day between lunch and dessert.) Which is not healthy lol. This month I’m looking to cut back on my sugar. I’ve got my caloric intake more under control since I didn’t binge eat at all this month despite my weird mood so I think this is the next small step I am going to take.
Work on The Lowell Saga! Just got to keep chugging. Finish that first draft. Hopefully start book 2 draft 1 in May. Crossing my fingers hardcore right now.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. This is the most precious book in the world. My mom heard about it on the news and bought it for me right after she saw it. I love her so much and she could not have picked a more perfect book. I needed this book, badly. It’s a simple story but so full of wisdom, humanity and reminding us of what is truly important in life. Given the world we are currently living in, with all the loneliness and just overall negative feelings I know we are all currently or have been feeling, this book is the perfect antidote to boost you up. Five stars to infinity. I will read this over and over and over again. Ever word is important, every lesson unforgettable and every person should read this.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I get it now, I understand why this book is so acclaimed.The writing just has that beautiful way of sucking you right into the story and making your turn page after page just to find out more with an important lesson on morality waiting at its ending. It’s not in a dramatic, horror story kind of way but in a wow-I’m-really-curious-to-see-where-this-is-going kind of way. The story poses a vivid picture in your mind, I had no trouble picturing the settings or anything and even though the main characters aren’t physically described in great detail I had a good mental picture of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy. I’m glad I read this book and I did connect with the really human aspects it paints and the moral lesson it teaches. I won’t spoil the story by telling you the lesson. Honestly for it to be fully understood you need to read the book 😉
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie is one of my favorite authors of all time but I had been hesitant for a while to go back and read her earlier things. The Raven Boys was my first foray into her world and I thought nothing could compare to the beauty of the Gangsy… until I happened to pick up The Scorpio Races, and that redefined my life once again. The Wolves of Mercy Falls was her debut series and after beating around the bush for a bit I finally decided to go for it. It definitely has the tells of a first novel but the story is there and I felt it.Longing and yearning were central themes throughout the book and I really felt it. Like that was 100% the mood I was needing at the time I read it. Occasionally though, I did think the love story between Sam and Grace took up too much time but also it is their story so (*shrugs*), like, I get it. But that bookstore scene (if you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean) has marked its place as one of my favorite love scenes between two characters of all time. Also, sidenote, I LOVED Isabel.She really grew on me a lot. I don’t know if I’ll read the rest of the books in the series because I like where this book ended but I enjoyed reading it and am glad I did! 😀
Home Body by Rupi Kaur. I love her poetry so much, and that is why I own every collection she has ever put out. Her latest one does not disappoint. These poems fuel my soul and she has such a gift for letting her vulnerabilities loose and turning them into something beautiful and inspiring.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. This book was something I needed. Light, incredibly funny and surprisingly smart. I definitely felt my self going back to my high school days with all the parabolas, graphs, functions and equations interspersed throughout the book. All explained for the readers viewing of course. This book is a breath of fresh air and I’m here for it. So fitting for spring. I would read it again, and again especially for Hassan. Man he was so FUNNY! Hassan is the best friend to Colin Singleton, our main character, and throughout the story Colin questions the idea of mattering, and the overall moral he comes to at the end makes good sense. Also the romance was pretty cute too 😉
The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Daniel J. Zollinger. Leigh Bardugo is such a queen. Honestly. She is my writing goals. This book of essentially fairytale stories and religious legends is such a nice connection to the Grishaverse. I hope one day to make something as wonderful and lush and alive as her Grishaverse for my own writing and WIPs. The illustrations are also so, so, SO incredible. Truly, Mr. Zollinger is a gifted illustrator indeed. He captured the stories of the saints in such beautiful religious sovereignty vibes while still being approachable. I hope that makes sense, lol. If you love Leigh just read this too. That’s really the gist of what I have to say. Also guyssss SHADOW AND BONE ON NETFLIX IS ALMOST HERRREEEEEEEEEEEE!
I’m ready for a new, fresh me and she is coming.I read so many books this month, I got a promotion, I want to be better.And I keep on walking to get there. I still have some bad habits of course but the more I work against them the better I feel and before long they will be gone completely from my life. That’s all we can really do as humans, right? Just keep trying to get better than who we were the day before. I know that with summer of the horizon I will try my hardest to make up for all the lost feelings and keep moving forward.
How did March feel to you guys? Doesn’t it seem, I don’t know, like an imaginary month sometimes?
Hello Spring!! I’m glad you have finally arrived even if we have had a tumultuous relationship in the past. (I have had a tendency to get sick for the past two springs and I’m crossing my fingers this year will be different. ~MANIFEST~). Anywho, now that the days are getting longer my mood has perked up and so has my work ethic. I made a submission this month to one online literary magazine and am currently working on another to be submitted before March ends. Which all in all is excellent since I’m staying true to my 2021 resolution to KEEP WRITING!
This next trek into my writing journey takes me to the ripe age of around 15. When you’re 15 and high school is blah where do you turn? To your imagination on course! 😉 I’ve already told you about my ruddy red notebook in my previous writing posts but all I had were just a bunch of little stories a few hundred words or less in that. None much longer than that. Even though some of the writings that I did in that notebook and then later my black notebook, which followed after I finished my red one, were somewhat of a series I don’t really count it. Nowhere near the length of my Kingdom Hearts story (still lost in the void) that I mentioned a few writing posts ago.
My next full blown adventure into writing an actual long story was, *surprise*, another fan fiction and it stretched all the way back to my roots. Yes, y’all back to Pokemon.
It was going to be epic. I made my cousin and me the stars of said fan fiction and we were going to go on this epic quest to catch, like, all the legendary Pokemon out there. Starting with Moltres of course , who by the way the character based on me had an epic arc of bonding with said bird, while the world revolved around us into a full blown war zone. All the while leading to us then using the aforementioned legendary Pokemon we caught to take down the bad guys. Total self insert, and I am totally unashamed. For 15 year old me then and 25 year old me now I am still enthralled by the idea.
The point is though, that one story (that I never finished) snowballed and evolved and eventually became an entirely different story down the road. In a way it was young me learning how to draft. All throughout my room I have scattered notes about certain things that would have to happen in the story and I plotted out every character’s Pokemon team agonizingly. In fact I still do this today with every character I create. It’s a way of me bonding with them and figuring out their niche.
In fact two very special original characters from that Pokemon fan fiction were born. Now, they have evolved into key players in my current WIP, The Lowell Saga (TLS). I will even tell you their names lol. One is Catrina, and the other is Esmeralda. Catrina is my couch potato basically and Esmeralda is my flower child. And I love them both dearly.
Speaking of TLS, in between and around working on my submissions I did manage to get some writing in. I am still in the messy middle and figuring out out to get from Point A (the beginning) which is written to Point Z (the end) which is yet to be written but I do know what I want to happen. Now it’s just all the rest of the letters in-between. Sigh.
I find myself writing little notes to myself throughout this draft as I come up with some ideas of what I want to happen but as of late I just haven’t felt like writing it. I think I may skip around a bit more and see what happens. Not giving up though. Never giving up. Not in my character. But doing multiple things at once, oh yes that is me. Workaholic to the core, as well as an unfortunate procrastinator from time to time due to the very fear that lives in my bones. Okay, okay I’ll stop.
In the meantime though I am really vibing with just writing whatever I want. These books are going to be a real TRIP for you guys when you get to read them. Like, honestly. I am so weird and these characters are weird and this saga is going to be WEIRD. But also hopefully make you really sad and make you really happy. At least it will be memorable. Well, that’s the goal.
This time around I think I am going to introduce you a bit to Lowell. She comes from a family of 4, her mother, father, brother and her. Top three personality traits of hers are that she is original, longing, and confident. Two Pokemon on her team are Blaziken and Leafeon, and of all seven of my main characters she has the most secrets of them all. 😉
How is your writing going? How do you get to know your characters? Do you give them Pokemon teams like me, lol?
Currently listening: “Ultraviolet” – Stiff Dylans Currently watching:Anne With An E S1 Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix Currently reading:Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
January may have been a beautiful thing but February was an ugly entity. It snowed like the ninth circle of hell over here. Listen, I appreciate snow. I really do. For summer to exist there has to be a winter. But there was just no end to the snow this month. Between the seasonal depression of it often being dark outside and then further worsened by the never-ending snow keeping me locked inside I was very, very not myself. So did I have extra hot chocolate? Yes, yes I did. Among lots of cake as well.
My healthy habits, no lie, fell to the wayside this month. Besides my winter woes, work was especially stressful and there was a lot going on with my family too. Everything is okay but not out of the woods yet. I’m crossing my fingers though as March waltzes in, so will spring.
Do pilates twice a week! Fail. I think I did it only twice this month, nevertheless twice a week. Did I mention there was cake?
Work on The Lowell Saga everyday! Check. I did do this nearly everyday. So win.
Use social media more! Check. My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect!
March (the month where spring better show up to my party) Goals:
Make more mindful and healthy food choices! After the eating disaster that was February, I’m looking to make better choices in March. Less cake and more fruit! Less pasta and more vegetables! Honestly, I feel so much better when I eat cleaner food and I have to remember that the next time I feel the need to reach for the chocolate bar to just not. Stress eating does not make the bad feelings go away, it only perpetuates them. I’ll take broccoli over bloated any day.
Finish the middle bit of The Lowell Saga! I want to finish the tricky middle bit of my story this month. There is a very specific treasure my trio is looking for in the middle of book 1 of TLS and I have scenes scattered throughout my draft that I want to attempt to string together to get this part done this month. Then hopefully I can head to the ending bits for April. AND THEN, start book 2 draft 1 in May.
Find more focus in my life! Sometimes life feels like a frozen tundra where everywhere you look is snow, icy wind and emptiness. That was an analogy but you get the point. If I haven’t said it enough February was rough in all facets of living. In March, I want to get my shit together in my personal, work and writing lives.
What I Read:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I enjoyed this a lot. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely had it’s faults //SPOILERS// – insta love, definitely not a favorite trope of mine between Kaoru and Akiva, but I digress- //END OF SPOILERS//, but the writing was strong with vivid imagery, a magical world, and important moral message. Also the characters were very, very lovable. I do adore Kaoru, Zuzana and just their friendship in general. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the rest of the trilogy.
Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. This book is my heart and soul. It is one of my favorites of all time and I cannot remember how many times I’ve reread it throughout the years. The only indication would be by how cracked its spine is honestly. This book will be with me till I die, it is just that kind of story and anything I say about it will be biased. I really love this book. It’s definitely not for everyone but for those to who it resonates with it really hits home. It’s so many things. A coming of age story, a love story, a story about heroes and villains and just so well balanced that no matter how many times I reread it I find more things I missed before. If any of you have read this book and know exactly how I feel and exactly what I am talking about please let me know. I need someone to vent and gush and just express all my feelings with. Let’s get together in Nowhere 😉
Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger and More Graceful You by Misty Copeland. I love Misty Copeland and I love ballet, even though I only took it for a year when I was five before changing to horseback riding for ten years. Honestly I wish I had stuck with it but I love horseback riding just as much. I wish I had done both actually, and karate. I did karate for a month but I digress. ANYWAY, I enjoyed reading this and learning about some of Misty’s exercise routine, food preferences and personal journey. I really respect her so it was interesting to read. I also love barre but haven’t been able to take a class in almost a year due to COVID. But as soon as the world gets up and running again I’m running back to the gym. Reading this book was meant to keep that goal in mind and remember to stay fit and make healthy choices for my 2021 resolution!
What I’ll Be Writing:
Poetry- posted every Wednesday
Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
Announcements- posted as needed
If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.
Can I just say Anne with an E is such a beautiful show? Honestly, like I. Am. Floored. I didn’t even finish the first season yet and I am just in love with everything. If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend. So much so, that y’all already know I ordered the complete series to read.
How did February treat you? Do you share my pressing sentiments over Anne of Green Gables? These are the questions that need to be answered.