Snapshot 2/28/21 // “Winter Woes”

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.

February Goals:

  1. 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?
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga everyday! Check. I did do this nearly everyday. So win.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
The year just started and already I’ve used this gif twice in my posts. Let’s keep a tally, shall we?
Tally: II

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.

Fabulous Posts I Read in February:

My Round Up of February Posts:

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.

Till next time,

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Writing is Hard | WIP Update | February 2021 | Power of Notebooks

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | January 2021 | Ruddy Red

This writing update is little bit of a detour but an important one I want to talk about. In my previous post I mentioned a ruddy red notebook I had that meant a lot to me growing up. Basically, it was the tangible version of my imagination. To this day it is one of my dearest treasures.

Is the writing in there absolute garbage? Yes, 100% and it will never see the light of day.

But it was an important step on my journey of becoming a writer. Hell, it was an important step on my journey of becoming me, and who I am today. So it’s precious.

I’m sure some of you, if not most, have kept a journal or notebook growing up. Whether it was just for writing down your thoughts, creating stories or scribbling out the daily struggles of living. Anyone else also, low-key, have a diary too when they were growing up? Lock and key included, do not open marked on the front.

Writing might seem like a chore to some but it’s valuable. It’s a written record of your thoughts, your emotions, your life told through memories or experiences or stories. It helps you remember where you came from and also very importantly where you want to go.

Also can I just say it is the one thing that will listen to your venting with no complaints? Just the paper, a pen and you. No judgment all around. It clears out the clutter of your anger, your embarrassment, and your sadness but also highlights your joy too.

Back then, when I was a wee lass, I had no intention of ever being a writer. In fact I think I never wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a hero. I watched cartoons ad infinitum because the characters were always saving the day. I read because magic was real when I saw it on the page. I played video games because I wanted to fight monsters with a sword. And when you are a kid the only chance you get to do that is through stories. (Mostly because your mom won’t let you out into the woods by yourself to see if there are Charmander waiting to be caught, but I digress.) The point is that a notebook changed my life in becoming an integral step to who I eventually wanted to be. A little thing that meant so much.

These were just thoughts I wanted to highlight and to see if they reach or resonate with any of you guys whether you write or read or do anything else. Food for thought.

You never know what you can discover as you just let your imagination run free and basically that’s what writers do every time they sit down to work. But it doesn’t just have to be a writer, it could be anyone.

So for February I stepped back into the muddy waters of my work in progress, The Lowell Saga or TLS for short. No lie there was a bit of a struggle at first to get acclimated back in. It’s like in the summer when it’s hot as balls outside but the pool is Antartica. Sometimes you have to tread in slowly and other times you just cannonball right in. February needed slow treading but as I write this I am fully submerged back into the story, the chlorine reaching right over my shoulders. (Also, low key, kinda loving this analogy.)

I couldn’t write everyday BUT I wrote a little most days and my word count is slowly climbing back up. I would like to get back up to at least writing 1,000 words a day, and even though I’m not there yet I know I’ll get there. I’m a slow writer so I bow down to those of you who can bang out 5K in a sitting. Maybe one day I’ll get there too, who knows? Never say never!

(Me, bowing down to y’all)

I would say I’m in the middle bit of the story now. The messy middle I like to think of it as honestly. The beginning is down and the end I can see. The middle though, like I mentioned, is messy. This part has the most room I guess for my creativity to expand is the nicest way to phrase it. I’ve gotten a bit stuck here and there but whenever I do I reach out to… the internet!

Neil Gaimon gave some great advice about whenever you are stuck to always go back to what your characters want. And he is 100% right. Whenever I get stuck I rely on that and then I find the answer to drive my story forward. Susan Dennard also gave some great advice when she talked about the wonder of ‘magical cookie’ scenes! These are the scenes you want to write that propel the story forward as well. So if I combine the advice of two of my favorite authors I find I’m writing scenes I actually enjoy writing and the story keeps moving! The only downside to doing this is I am going to have to string together all these scenes cohesively in later drafts but that’s a problem for a later day!

Let us just get this first draft down, am I right?

So guys how are your WIP going? Do you have any tips for writing the middle? Let’s talk!

Till next time,

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word count: 66,772

“Mrs. Hyde”

Light eyes,
bouncy hair,
a smile
with no care.

Piercing gaze,
tight bun,
a smirk
that looks like fun.

Sweatshirt,
dark jeans,
blue socks,
stars on the seams.

Black blazer,
red blouse,
pumps starting fires
to be doused.

The fear
is high in your eyes.
Mistaking your impression
for her guise.

Well,
surprise.

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “Mrs. Hyde” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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Announcement! Radiate Literary Publication #2

Hey guys!! I made another submission to Radiate Literary, an online literary journal focused on promoting young voices. For their Winter issue they wanted work focused on fairytales and those are my favorite types of stories!

Awhile back last spring I wrote a poem “Fairytale” that got a lot of attention on my blog so I decided to submit it here. I had the pleasure of working with one of their wonderful editors, Sam, and with some of his great suggestions I revamped the poem. The new version just went live!!

Here’s the link—) “Fairytale”

If you have some free time, give it a read. It was one of my most favorite poems to write.

Till next time,

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Snapshot 1/31/21 // “Garden Queen”

Currently listening:Potential Breakup Song Explicit” – Aly & AJ
Currently watching: Gilmore Girls S2 // Sailor Moon S1 (90’s)
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

January is a beautiful thing. I know a lot of people don’t believe in making resolutions at the start of a new year because if you really wanted to change you could have started at any other point of the year. 100% accurate. I agree, but… there is just something about one year ending and another one coming in. I always make a few goals (just a handful) to accomplish in the new year because it’s a tradition for me and it makes me happy. That’s enough reason to do something regardless of what anyone thinks (as long as it doesn’t bring pain to anyone else!).

This month I feel like I, legit, thrived. I got back to doing my yoga daily, upping my step count, doing some pilates and most importantly eating a lot healthier than I did in December. Like a lot healthier. GO ME! Of all the 31 days of January that passed I only had one, just one, bad binge eating junk food day (which left me feeling like absolute garbage) and then for the rest of the month never did it again. Habits break slowly for me and jumping from over ten bad eating days in December to just one in January is HUGE for me.

Writing wise, I don’t know if y’all noticed buttttttttt…. I UPDATED THE LOOK OF MY BLOG! New colors guys and new blog headers too!! I’m high key very hyped about the new look. It’s subtle but for me it’s perfect! I also was consistent with my posting which I definitely was not in December. I even got back to prepping my WIP The Lowell Saga which I plan to work on everyday in February. AND I made two writing submissions this month!! Again, high key proud of my productiveness!! THRIVING, MY GARDEN IS THRIVING.

Also, if your curious about the “Garden Queen” title for this snap I recently purchased my 9th houseplant. Yes, you heard correctly my ninth. One day my house will be a jungle of plants and books. Two of my favorite things!

In other news I’m also being a lot bolder in my personal life and like, I’m vibing with it? Like, who am I? Who is this confident girl looking back at me in the mirror? I wish the girl from three years ago could see herself now. Hence the “Queen” bit of my Snap title. I know 2021 has not been perfect for the world but things are happening and changing. It’s getting better, really truly I believe that. This month wasn’t perfect for me but I’m choosing to see the good in it and I believe that’s a perfect reflection for the attitude of 2021. Things are still hard but they will get better. I believe that. So if this wasn’t a great month for you don’t let it get you down.

January/General 2021 Goals:

  1. Be healthier! Check.
  2. Write! Check.
  3. Get a tattoo! In progress. I’m waiting for the world to be a healthier place and for the warm weather to swing around. In the meantime I’m contemplating all sorts of ideas of what I want my first tattoo to be…

February (the month where I try not to freeze to death from snow) Goals:

  1. Do pilates twice a week! I want to exercise more so this is fulfilling my health goal for the year.
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga everyday! This one speaks for itself in fulfilling my writing goal.
  3. Use social media more! For a 25 year old I should spend more time on social media than I actually do lol. My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect!

What I Read:

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
  • Soul Eater v.22-25 by Atsushi Ohkubo.
  • Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Jess Mariano made me do it. Literally. On January 1, 2021 I watched the episode of Gilmore Girls where Jess is introduced and meets Rory for the first time. If any of you know the show then you know the significance of this poem/book. I literally wondered why I hadn’t read it yet myself and immediately the next day went to the library to check it out. And the funny thing is I low key wanted a second hand copy where there would be notes scribbled in the margins and highlights throughout as I read but I don’t have a secondhand bookstore close to me. So I went to the library instead. Long story short, they didn’t have the original edition I wanted but they were going to get me an annotated edition from another library!! Like the Universe heard my cries and answered me. Thank you Universe!! It’s such a classic poem and the Beat Generation is like a total 2020- on mood. If you haven’t read this classic, I highly recommend it. To me it felt so relevant to the crazy times we are going through today even though it was published in 1956.
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. This. Book. 5 stars all around. It’s a story for storytellers. It’s a story for that part inside of you that wants to open the door to Narnia. It’s a story that will touch your soul if any of the above is relevant. Just. Read. It. PSA over.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Wow, the writing in this book just pulled me right in. I love Karou, I love the minor characters like Zuzana, I love PRAGUE. Now I have to go, obviously. Just tack it on to the already long list of places I want to go. I’m about halfway through right now so expect a review next month!

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.

Jazzy Posts I Read in January:

My Round Up of January Posts:

February is going to be a busy month for me. I can feel it. Or… maybe this feeling is just me subconsciously telling myself to buy another plant lololololololol. Anyhow, I’ll keep you guys updated on any major happenings.

How were your January’s? Anything interesting happen? Have you seen The Queen’s Gambit btw?? I just saw the first episode last night and I am hooked!

Till next time,

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