Snapshot 12/31/20 // “The End.”

Currently listening:champagne problems” – Taylor Swift
Currently watching: 90 Day Fiancé S2
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: __________________________

I don’t remember much of December TBH. After the busy bee I was in November I took the time to relax and chill in December. I didn’t post as much as I usually do, since I didn’t have a discussion post this month or a writing update, and I took some time away from my WIP to clear my head a little bit in order to tackle it again in January with fresh eyes.

Christmas wasn’t the same this year. Last year was a bad Christmas and who would have known it could be worse. A lot of little things just adding up (we even lost power on Christmas morning) but I KNOW next year will be better. I KNOW IT, I SWEAR. Things happen for a reason. So, I’m going to just sit year till the new year indulging in laziness, anime and the entire plate of brownies my Grandma made for me. Cin, cin!!

December Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! Check, I did do a little bit!
  2. Become more interactive on social media! Check… I did a little bit, I swear. My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect!
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! No check, but I expected as much.

January (the month where 2020 was just a nightmare and now we are awake again) Goals:
(AKA my 2021 resolutions in general)

  1. Be healthier! In everything… honestly I have been garbage since Christmas. I’ll get back to doing my yoga in the morning, exercising at least three times a week, eating vegetables lol, positive thinking and leaving the old behind to move on to better things.
  2. Write! My WIP draft for The Lowell Sage is halfway done (and that is better than never started) and into 2021 I will keep writing. No deadlines, just keep going. Every year I keep getting closer.
  3. Get a tattoo! I wasn’t able to get my 2020 tattoo because of a global pandemic. So, dammit, this pandemic better be over so I can get it in 2021.

What I Read:

  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I was enthralled by this book. So much so I read it slowly and savored every damn chapter. Honestly. I started this around the beginning of November and finished it mid-December. That’s a long time for me to be continuously and consciously reading a book. The story is basically a love letter to readers and writers alike. It’s deep, touching, and resonating. That being said the story may not be for everyone, especially those who don’t like slower paced novels. But I’m also going to say it’s a beautiful book and I love love love love it so much. 5 STARS BABYYYYYY! All the way. I can’t. So many feelings and I just love Erin Morgenstern so much. So if you are a reader or a storyteller go read this book! I’m not going to spoil anything, just enjoy it 😉
  • ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. It was a good book. But, though I do appreciate Steven King, his writing style isn’t for me. It was a great story, realistic. I wasn’t scared per say but I enjoyed what I did read. It’s perfect reading for the fall and very outside of the usual genres I read. But I can see why it is a classic. I don’t think I’ll read it again but I am glad I read it. 
  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. I honestly have so many post it notes sticking out of this book. So many of the poems are so good, and healthy, and just give off all the vibes we need to hear and know. If you are looking for relatable, healthy and contemporary poetry pick this up right now.

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.

My Round Up of December Posts:

I learned and did a lot in 2020. I grew so much and learned so much about myself. I’m taking all of it and throwing myself into 2021. Throwing. Myself. Full force.

Down with 2020. Up with 2021! Be on the look out for some changes to the blog in the coming month. Jai is getting her shit together lol, haha! 😀

What are your resolutions for the new year?

2021 can be about making all the changes you want to become the best you. Together let’s stick to them to make this a much better year. This is the beginning. Make it count.

Till next time,

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Snapshot 11/30/20 // “Victory.”

Currently listening:Sympathy For The Devil” – The Rolling Stones
Currently watching: The Office S8
Currently playing: Hollow Knight
Currently reading: ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

November was a month. Honestly, I don’t have much to say lol. When I wasn’t at work, I was still at work at home. Writing. I didn’t do much else. I didn’t even finish reading one book this month. Wow. That is a first for me. But… I did it. I WON NANOWRIMO FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.

50,000 words of my draft for my WIP The Lowell Saga is complete.Whew. No where near done with the first draft. But I’m getting there. Little by little. Word by damn word. As for whether I finish the draft this December… I’m going to try my hardest. 2020 hasn’t beaten me yet.

November Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! Check.
  2. Become more interactive on social media! Check. I was pretty consistent, for me, with updating on Twitter.
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Failure, but I’m not worried. My WIP was the focus this month because of NaNo. AND I WON THAT MAJORLY.
  4. Continue to eat healthier! Check. Not perfect but not as horrible as I could have been. So that’s a win in my book.

December (the month where Christmas happens) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! My last chance this month to finish that first draft before 2021 hits us in the face. (Or hopefully gently caresses us instead…)
  2. Become more interactive on social media! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect! I did better this past month but still want to continue the habit so I’m listing this goal again.
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! I’m calling it now, this probably won’t happen cause I’ll be busy with my WIP but I don’t want to forget this goal so I’m putting it down again.

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

All of my fiction writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

November Round Up of Posts from Nifty People:

My Round Up of November Posts:

My Thanksgiving this year was small but still lovely. My step dad and I made an apple pie and it was the most delicious pie I had ever eaten in my life! We might need to make it a tradition. All in all I’m grateful for everything I do have and will keep looking forward to a brighter tomorrow. December could be brighter!! Let’s cross our fingers.

How were your Thanksgivings, if you celebrate? How was November overall for you guys? Did you meet your NaNoWriMo goal if you participated?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

Till next time,

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Writing is Hard | WIP Update | November 2020 | NaNoWriMo Heaven and Hell

Previous Post: Writing is Hard | WIP | October 2020 | Catching All Those Falling Stars

Alright.

Guys.

You know. You are all aware. If you’ve been reading the last few of my personal updates or if you are a writer then you know.

NaNoWriMo. My WIP post this time around is dedicated to all things NaNo.

The first time I ever competed in NaNo was 2017. I had just graduated college and was working my first full time job. But life was not on my side. I wanted to be a writer but I had a degree I wanted nothing to do with and was working a job that was putting me into a depression. I don’t want to get into the gritty details but all you need to know is my mental health wasn’t the greatest. My only solace was reading in my car on my lunch breaks and surreptitiously writing post it notes of story ideas at my cubicle. At the time the story I was working on wasn’t The Lowell Saga, which is my current NaNo project. The Lowell Saga was born in the spring semester of my senior year at college. Though, for my first NaNo, a different story came to mind. At the time it was called Tricked.

For NaNo in 2018, I was working a different job. I had survived a previous bad year that I didn’t know would get a lot worse and finally culminate in the middle of 2019. Still, I attempted NaNo again. Again, I attempted to work on Tricked. I preformed word count wise even worse than I did in 2017. My different job was grating on my mental health in a different way than my first job was. This time I wasn’t depressed but I became extremely anxious to the point of nearly having a mental breakdown every Friday night. Then in December I had to have surprise surgery where I nearly asphyxiated. But that wasn’t even as bad as it was going to get. Spring of 2019 I quit my second job and then fell down another rabbit hole of sickness. It was a dark, dark time. The darkest ever probably in my life thus far.

In November of 2019, I was finally finally working a day job I loved. But, my writing was falling flat. I wasn’t inspired in the slightest and I was still trying to work on Tricked, except now I had changed the vibe of the story and renamed it Origins. I preformed worse than I did in 2018.

2020 was the year everything was going to change. And it did. For all of us.

2020 was both a terrible year and a great year. At least for me. It was terrible because everything in the world went to shit. But, I believe there was some universal divine plan to all of it. I have to believe that. I know some of you out there believe it too. Through all this garbage that is 2020 I know we have found some silver linings. I’ll start with the garbage though. I caught COVID-19 at the end of March. I thankfully didn’t have it as bad as others but let me tell you, it is very disconcerting to lose your sense of taste and smell. Honestly.

I had to take a leave from work but in that leave all of my writing inspiration came back to me. SILVER LINING. I decided to shelve Origins for more simmering and went back to my original beloved WIP The Lowell Saga. I researched the hell out of the story, I read a lot of information about story building and just writing in general and I got myself back on track. October I spent so much time prepping and starting to write that way this time for NaNo I would be ready.

Let me tell you I was ready. Still am, since by the time I’m posting this NaNo is still ongoing. This is my current word count:

Guys. Guys. Guys. DO YOU SEE? LOOK! I’m just over 36,000 words deep!!! I’m so happy I could cry. I’m doing so much better. So. Much. Better.

Guys if you don’t have the inspiration now don’t worry. Don’t. Worry. It will come. I promise. As long as you keep believing in your dream and striving it will come.

The first thing I do after I wake up and eat my breakfast is write, then I head to work. If I decided I need more sleep in the morning then I shift my writing to at night. I’m striving to make it work. And the words are flowing. Finally. You have to build that habit, it is so important. But you also have to listen to your body and take care of your self.

I’ve learned that simmering is part of my process. The Lowell Saga simmered for three years before it decided it needed to be written now in the hell year of 2020 which I’m taking as a heaven sent blessing in disguise. Origins is simmering now but I plan on one day going back to it after The Lowell Saga has its say.

Another aspect I’ve been implementing is just writing the scenes I want to write. I’m not writing linearly (which is how I always used to write) and I’m loving it so much more. I will need to connect everything later but I’m not worried. I’ll get to it. One day soon I hope to share more information about my WIP with you all. Once I finish the first draft of the first book of this four book saga I’ll dedicate a whole post about it so hopefully some of you can get just as excited as I am about it. ❤

The most important thing though, which I say all the time but always bears repeating, is just to keep writing. Keep striving. Don’t give up. If you want this dream you have to work for it. It will not be handed to you. But… fortune does favor the bold. 😉

Stay bold, stay strong and let’s finish NaNo this year.

For those of you who are participating, I’d love to hear about your progress and struggles! We are in it together and I’m cheering you all on!!

Till next time,

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word count: 36,405

Snapshot 10/31/20 // “The Circus, At Night”

Currently listening:Season of the Witch” – Lana Del Rey
Currently watching: The Haunting of Bly Manor
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Cloudy skies and misty air are lingering outside my window as I type this, and it fits. October and I have been on the same wavelength all month and I am here for it. A lot of fun fall activities fell into my life these past few weeks and finally I feel good. My life feels like it is starting to come together, and honestly perfect timing because NaNo is right around the corner. Or rather by the time this is posted… knocking at the door.

October Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! Check! My word count is up and I am so happy!!! I don’t want to jinx anything because I’m superstitious like that so I won’t share too much but… that first draft is getting WRITTEN. Mark it, guys. Making history over here, lol 😀
  2. Become more interactive on social media! Check! I’m doing it! I’m doing it!
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Failure…. but I’m working on it. I did more than I did last month at least! (like opened one new tab, lol…) It will probably be a failure next month too if I’m being real with NaNo going on, but not giving up!
  4. Read & finish three books! Check! Not exactly all three books that I planned but I finished my two re-reads Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. As well as Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. All fantastic reads that I highly recommend! I’m about a third of the way through reading Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and enjoying it so far! Waiting for those twists!
  5. Rewatch The Haunting of Hill House, and revisit Supernatural S4 and Gilmore Girls S1! Check! Supernatural and Gilmore Girls are like my mac and cheese and buttered biscuits. I also finished The Haunting of Hill House and loved it just as much the second time around! The Haunting of Bly Manor I’m more than halfway through and can I just say, I love Victoria Pedretti? Like, I really do. I hope by the end it hits me as much as Hill House did and right now I’m expecting it too.
  6. Watch Halloween movies! Check! Halloweentown, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Over the Garden Wall, and Corpse Bride, among others. Even Hocus Pocus. Okay, okay I relent. It’s a classic and I’m a little less bitter about Binx now. (SPOILER) He’s happy in heaven and now that I’m no longer seven I accept this conclusion. (SPOILER END).
  7. Go apple and pumpkin picking! Check, check! Even though I got EATEN and I mean EATEN by mosquitos (my ankle swelled up like a balloon and got infected, yuck!) it was so worth it. I had a blast! I posted some pics on my Insta if you are curious!
  8. Make Halloween cookies! Check. And they were delicious.
  9. Eat healthier! Mostly check. I had three bad days this entire month, but that is less than September. The other 28 days I followed the moderation plan so this is a win. Building healthy habits never felt so gooooood! One day at a time. One cookie at a time. One brussel sprout at a time!
  10. Look at the ocean one last time! Check and it was magical ❤ (I also had pumpkin spice ice cream for the first time and damn, it’s good! )

November (the month where I am alive and dead at the same time) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH IT’S ON NANO. I’M CALLING YOU OUT. My username is JLynn047 if you want to be friends and cheer each other on!
  2. Become more interactive on social media! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect! I’m gonna try to rage on Twitter all month about my writing frustrations (and hopefully victories!). Feel free to commiserate (and revel hopefully!) with me!
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! I’m calling it now, this probably won’t happen cause I’ll be busy with NaNo but I don’t want to forget this goal.
  4. Continue to eat healthier! Moderation and NO stress eating. (Even though I will probably be emotional and stressed all month but I will resisttttttt through mindfulness and sheer force of will.)

What I Read:

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. Everyone needs to read this book. I don’t care if it’s not your genre. I don’t care if your TBR list is huge. I don’t care if you don’t read. I don’t care if you are a nihilist. This book is bigger than us. It should be on the essential reading list for humanity. Everyone knows the Holocaust. It’s THE most iconic tragedy in the history of civilization. Dr. Frankl, the author of this book, experienced this terrible blight on humanity first hand. He had the option to escape, but he chose to stay with his parents who couldn’t leave and in turn all of them ended up in a concentration camp. A lot of us, thankfully, today will never know those horrors first hand. But he did. And he survived. His experience shaped the motivation and learnings in this psychology book. The main point that I took away was that man needs meaning to survive and he finds that in either 1) his vocation 2) a person or 3) courage in the face of an unimaginable situation. Meaning, meaning, meaning… what is the point of this life? Why are we here? Nihilists will argue that everything is random, there is no meaning. Some think the point of life is to chase happiness. Some think power is everything. But Dr. Frankl alludes the more you chase those things the harder they will be to find. If your life has meaning then you have the will to go on, and the success and happiness will follow. If you think everything has no point and that all is random what’s to stop you from bringing about another Holocaust? There’s no point right? Deep down we all know that not to be true. We are human, we feel, we live, we suffer. We suffer and suffer and suffer. Would it make you happier to reason it towards nothing, or everything. I only glazed over the key points here and there is so so much more. If I haven’t said it already, just read the book. 
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. This one was a reread, one that I hadn’t exactly planned on but one that happened anyway. This book just screams October. I read it for the first time last year and you can read my original review here. Looks like I did end up re-reading it like I mentioned in my review last year, haha!! I didn’t disappoint my past self. Maybe I will just end up rereading it every year. Who knows? Pretty much all the same feelings, but what is different this time is that I think I understand the book even more. Its nostalgia, its structure…. and its view of the universal personal conflict of being human. There is just something about this book. Something… Maybe next year I’ll be able to tell you what it is when I probably end up reading it again.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I love this book, so much. My soul and this book …. I can’t even articulate it. I just love this book, so much.

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

All of my fiction writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

I might do another discussion post… depends on how much time I’ll have (not much…) but we shall see. Never say never and inspiration might strike again!

My WIP post this month will also be very heavily NaNo related FYI just so you guys are forewarned! I might check in with mini updates for NaNo every now and then too besides my big monthly WIP update but I haven’t decided yet. (More like anxiety rearing its ugly head that I am taking on too much and perfectionism screaming DO IT ANYWAY…) Well…

October Round Up of Posts from Awesome People:

I read so many fun, thought provoking and inspiring posts this month! To my fellow bloggers, great work guys!!

My Round Up of October Posts:

To NaNoWriMo my fellow writers! May productivity rain and may we all survive the storm!! ROARRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Oh, and btw… Happy Halloween 😉

Till next time,

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Writing is Hard | WIP | October 2020 | Catching All Those Falling Stars

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Writing Update | September 2020 | Hero Complex

I was fifteen when I started to write regularly. Every summer before school would start in September my mother would take my brother and me to Staples to get our supplies. That year I had an extra notebook that I didn’t need for school and that’s where something else began… I didn’t know it at the time but with that notebook, I would come to hand write short story upon short story… upon short story. It was a three subject spiral notebook, totally normal in every way even down to its ruddy red cover. But that notebook became my secret world.

Since I was still reeling off Final Fantasy VII, I got hooked on the just announced Final Fantasy Versus XIII (now known as FFXV for those who are curious; that is how long ago this was and how long that game was stuck in development hell, but I digress). All that fan fiction took up the first rush of pages, then I dropped back into the Pokemon fandom for a bit, and then Howl’s Moving Castle for a spell and then came Hetalia and Katekyo Hitman Reborn and then Durarara! and Bleach and Fruits Basket and oh so many others. Just typing all those series’ down brings back the rush of memories. Growing up with all those stories manifested from the brilliant minds of so many different creators got me through and helped me make a few close friends to survive high school with. Back then, if it wasn’t already obvious I spent a lot of time in my imagination. Maybe it was inevitable that I would eventually want to be an author. Even though for a long time growing up I didn’t want to become a writer. But that’s a story for a different time. At that time in my life all I needed was a place to vent my feelings and get lost in someplace that wasn’t the real world. Maybe that was why it was so easy to fill that notebook up with words.

It was two years later after starting that notebook that I created my first original character. Not a self insert or someone to fit in some other person’s world. He was mine, all mine. He has survived to this day and believe it or not plays a significant role in my current WIP The Lowell Saga. As you can see I love him dearly. He hasn’t even changed much from his original design. His core personality is still present, and even his name is the same. I would reveal more but he plays a sort of big, influential role and I don’t want to spoil anything for when this book finally sees the light of day.

I am honestly… really proud of myself this month? Again? Wow. I started to wake up a bit earlier before work to get some writing in, like I did last year around this time and so far it has been working. Just a half hour but it is still progress. Little by little. Something is better than nothing. Because one day all those little somethings add up, but you can’t add up nothing. Nothing just creates more nothing.

I find that (if you have been with me from the beginning you already know) I always struggle to finish a first draft. Beginnings are so easy for me. I can write a million beginnings. Middles are okay, I reach them half of the time. The end is something I have never seen. But I will. With this WIP I will. Positive affirmations and manifesting all the wayyyyyyyyy. Especially with it being that special time of year.

Yes NaNoWriMo time is almost upon us and I have decided to participate! Will I set a goal of 50,000 words? Probably not because that is not how I operate, something it took me years to learn. Will I try to write every day and see where it takes me? Probably more along those lines of thinking but I don’t want to lock myself in a box. As we all know, life happens… and we have to account for that. Will I keep hustling away at that first draft? Definitely, 100% yes yes yes. Maybe I’ll make that my goal. Just keep writing.

What I find working for me, which I didn’t do previously, is that I write the scenes that I want to write instead of going in chronological order. My draft may be a mess but it is still a draft and the words are coming and that is better than nothing. Something is always better than nothing. I’m also not getting hung up on making everything perfect the first go round (which is impossible anyway since nothing is perfect, something else I am learning and willing to entrench into my mind) and am leaving blank spaces or gaps where I need to fill in details that I just don’t have right now. I will eventually. But not right now. My Preptober is just building the habit that way I’ll have an easier time once November blows in. I mean I already spent a lot of time researching this year and outlining and planning. So now the implementation is in progress. Write, write, write.

Legit, do any writers know what they are doing? I don’t really, if I am being honest. I’m a very intuitive person and am going with my gut instinct here. Which, thankfully, has never failed me. I know there are a few writers out there that do have an idea (and please drop me a line cause I feel like I’m flailing in the sea out here) but as for the rest of us let’s make this November a memorable one. Let’s make it count. If you have a dream you have to try right? Or it will die with the falling stars…

And I won’t let any stars (or dreams) die on my watch. Not when they could became a beautiful reality.

I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer. I’ll say it over and over till I feel it’s true. But I do write. Therefore…

I am a writer. We are all writers, here.

But if I’m being honest some part of me still doesn’t believe it. Not till I finish a first draft at least. I have to do it. I want to do it. I’m going to do it.

We are all going to do it. I believe.

Till next time happy writing!

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word count: 8,541

Snapshot 9/30/20 // “Feathers, Feathers Everywhere”

Currently listening:seven” – Taylor Swift
Currently watching: Gilmore Girls S1
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Empty hallways, weathered books, slow breezes, Ancient Greek letters, philosophical thoughts and feathers floating down from the sky all tied into one month. That is what September means to me. Whenever it rolls around, as you can see, I tend to get moody.

Or totally rapt up in a dark academia aesthetic. Same thing.

September Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! Check. I’ve actually written a lot this month and am up to over 4K for my first draft! I wasn’t even planning on doing that much but it happened. Guyssssss, things are happeningggggg.
  2. Become more interactive on social media! Check! I was slightly more interactive than last month sooooo…
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Failure. Failure. Failure. At least I am being honest.
  4. Be more present/observant in my life! Check? Yes, unfortunately I may have been too present in my life this month, and it was a hard emotional month for me because the stress at work and in my personal life was getting a little too much. And if you are like me and tend to hyper fixate on things and over think to your wits end then… Yes, that happened. But at least I kept writing.

October (the month of EVERYTHING I WANT RIGHT NOW) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! This should be no surprise. It’s been on my goal list since the beginning of the hELL year of 2020. I want to finish this first draft, and no better way than a last minute sprint in the last 3 months of the year. yay.
  2. Become more interactive on social media! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect! I’ve recently had some inspiration and have a few ideas I’d like to showcase. Look forward to it guys in my beloved month of OCTOBER. I love October.
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Who knows if this will happen? I will probably get distracted by writing my WIP but just in case, I don’t want to forget this goal so I’m keeping it on here.
  4. Read & finish three books! My reading these past few months has been dismal. I want to change that and there are three books I’ve been dying to read when October rolled around. And now it’s here. Two are rereads: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. But the last is new, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I’ve never read it before and I really want to. Really. Want. To. So much so that I am legit staring at it right now as I type this.
  5. Rewatch The Haunting of Hill House, and revisit Supernatural S4 and Gilmore Girls S1! I have been rewatching episodes of Supernatural here and there, but since it’s October now I feel like NOW IS THE PERFECT MOMENT to watch more. I watched my first episode of Supernatural ever on a Halloween many years ago. So the month and the show are tied together in my head. Gilmore Girls just makes me feel happy and good and safe and so I’m going to keep watching that too since I restarted the series from the beginning this September. The Haunting of Hill House though I have been craving since summer began and now, totally on the opposite side of the spectrum from Gilmore Girls, I want to be scared and haunted and filled with dismal longing. Or maybe I just want to see those feelings reflected in someone other than me. (September was tough, guys. My mental health sucked. But I’m getting better now.)
  6. Watch Halloween movies! I always rewatch Halloweentown, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Over the Garden Wall, and Corpse Bride without fault every October. This year I might even try Hocus Pocus again. Listen, I was traumatized as a child at the end when (SPOILER) the black cat died/passed on. Traumatized. I was seven, he was my favorite character and then he died at the end. That stuff sticks with you. Maybe this year though, I’ll give it another chance. Maybeeeeeeeeee…
  7. Go apple and pumpkin picking! This is one of my favorite fall activities that I do every year. Along with bringing out the boots and flannel. I’m going to be dressed for success and carrying home a ton of deliciousness that will keep me happy all month. All about the little things, my friends, the little things.
  8. Make Halloween cookies! I didn’t make my Halloween sugar cookies last year so I’m damn well doing it this year. Dammit.
  9. Eat healthier! Lol, right after I say I’m making cookies. Listen, healthy eating is all about moderation. I’m going to be eating cookies and apples! September I had a lot of stressful days and I ate a ton of garbage I shouldn’t of. Binge eating is a curse. Don’t do it. This month my Mom is teaming up with me to eat more healthy and not let our emotions control our eating. So far we are seven days strong. The key is to eat the healthy food first and only eat one cookie instead of the box. I can totally do that, and I also have a partner in crime. A burden shared is a burdened lessoned, I think that’s how it goes.
  10. Look at the ocean one last time! My August birthday wish was to go to the beach one last time but unfortunately we never got there. I hope this month, even if I can’t swim and am wearing a scarf, I can see the ocean one last time and say my goodbye. At least until next summer.

I have a lot of goals this month but most of them are just there to remind myself to have some fun and enjoy life. I got so lost in September; I’m finding myself again in October. I’m calling it now. IT IS GOING TO BE A GREAT MONTH. Done.

(I will Robin Williams, I will, I promise!)

What I Read:

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. With September always comes one of my favorite aesthetics of all time, dark academia. The two in my mind are just intrinsically linked and I have no regrets. This book has a psychological, in your head, murder, but also Shakespeare! spin that I just immensely enjoyed. The story revolves around a group of seven conservatory trained actors and the various works of Shakespeare they preform throughout. They all have their roles, the hero, the tyrant, the villain… and it isn’t long before that role starts to take on their real life. So of course there is a dramatic murder. I loved the story resonance throughout the book and how the characters roles shifted with their arcs. The tale was beautifully rendered but I admit this book won’t be for everyone. If you enjoyed The Secret History then this book is right up the same alley. One of my favorite quotes that really portrays the essence of the story is “How could we explain that standing on a stage and speaking someone else’s words as if they are your own is less an act of bravery than a desperate lunge at mutual understanding?” (pg. 114) and that line really hit me in the face. Why do I write if not for my words to reach someone else and, even though we are in different spaces, reach some sort of recognition or shared feelings? To know we are not alone. It’s so human.

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

All of my fiction writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

I posted a surprise this month! My discussion post about why Autumn is a GREAT thing was totally unplanned and totally an impulsive decision that I just jived with. The best part being all the responses I got!! Who knows? I might think up more discussions for the future. Thank you guys for commenting and sharing your thoughts, really. Each one means the world to me ❤

September Round Up of Posts from Stupendous People:

To my fellow bloggers, this section is for you! Great, beautiful work this month guys ❤ There are many different types of posts above and all of them are 100% worth a look!

My Round Up of September Posts:

I found feathers everywhere this month. At first black feathers scattered here and there, showing up when I least expected them. Then white feathers appearing in droves as I walked around my neighborhood. Even the other day I found a blue feather. September was hard but I want to believe that there was a reason for it. I know there was a reason for it. Maybe October will let me know…

Either way, I’ll be sitting here sipping my tea, analyzing philosophical musings, and wondering where this journey is leading. Oh and, as always, searching for the magic.

Till next time,

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Writing is Hard | WIP Writing Update | September 2020 | Hero Complex

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Writing Update | August 2020 | Roxas

Okay who’s ready for the next tale in my adventure of writing?

Yes y’all, it is time for the Final Fantasy VII craze. So naturally, after I got absorbed in Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy had to follow. Naturally.

If you have ever played the video games you understand what I mean but just in case you haven’t I’ll put a little background in. Kingdom Hearts is essentially a delicious stew of nearly every popular Disney movie and Final Final Fantasy game thrown into one. So. Of course when it became one of my favorite things, naturally because Final Fantasy is a part of it, that also become one of my favorite things. Deductive reasoning at its finest there, folks.

I’ll spare you the tedious details and get straight to the point. I started with the original Final Fantasy because young!Jai thought that I would need to start at the beginning to understand (oh I was such a novice!) and after being so unenamored with it I THEN learned that each game had it’s own story. So naturally I jumped right to Final Fantasy VII. The most popular game in the whole franchise. And coincidently (and I say that ironically because I don’t believe in coincidences) a new spinoff game had just recently came out. For those of you that are familiar it was Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. That dates me to being around 14-15. And that is when I met Zack Fair.

(I mean come on… look at this PUPPY)

You thought my Roxas obsession was bad, it couldn’t even compare to how I felt about Zack. Well, still feel. This man affected me so much that I think I might have developed a hero complex from him and still, to this day, I can’t play the ending of Crisis Core. I stopped right before the last chapter and I know I will never play through it. Ever. But, let’s move on to the brighter side of things.

(Aerith, my beautiful flower, nothing brighter than her)

From this new interest, I started to write drabbles. What is a drabble? Basically, it’s a short piece of writing under 1,000 words (though some are longer, and some super short) without any real plot but to draw a nice highlight on a character or emotion or something. Usually they are fan fiction but not always. I remember grabbing an unused notepad from the closet and making a pact with myself to write 47 drabbles. Why that number? Well, why not that number. To this day 47 is one of my lucky numbers.

Now these drabbles, before you ask, will never see the light of day.

(Sephiroth, protecting my garbage)

But they are part of the story so they get an honorable mention.

I had also, by this point, acquired a new laptop. It was a Gateway gaming computer and it was black and orange and, like, THE COOLEST THING EVER. (Especially whenever I wanted to play The Sims, and let’s be real that is why ALL of us buy computers). Anyway, I started my next fan fiction story. This one about a girl who sneaks into SHINRA (disguised as boy, totally Mulan-ing it) and becomes best friends with, of course, Zack Fair. It was called Hollowed. Of course my Gateway now no longer has a screen so there’s that, but I still have the hard drive. And on that hard drive, my story. As for a way to view said story that is still up in the air. BUT AT LEAST I HAVE THE STORY.

Sidenote, they just remade Final Fantasy VII for the PS4 and do you know what the name of the new theme song they released for the game was ??? Hollow. Guys, guys, I called it YEARS AGO. If that doesn’t mean me and this game have a special bond I don’t know what does.

Final Fantasy VII is one of the best and most influential video games of all time with one of the most touching storylines. If my WIP could even just reach one person I would die happy. Writing gives my life meaning. In The Lowell Saga, my current project, you could say that the characters are all searching for their meaning in life. Some of them have hero complexes, some definitely do not. But all of them in one way, shape, or form are trying to find their way in complex world just like the rest of us twenty-somethings. My original intention with this story all those years ago was to write a story about what happens in your twenties, when life is staring you right in the face and now you are an adult. And everything that comes along with that. Along with magic. Because when given the option to add magic, you ALWAYS add magic.

I got a lot of writing done this month compared to my check in last month in August, and no lie, I am super surprised I actually wrote as much as I did!! (Also, low key, super proud.) This month I focused a lot more on writing the first draft than the previous months where I was doing a lot of research. September was a long month and I had lots of feelings from living my real life that needed some outlet. So I poured some of them into this first draft. #HealthyCoping. At least when I write I can control what happens. 😉

Till next time,

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word count: 4,635

Snapshot 8/31/20 // “My Horoscope Might Have Been Right, Lol”

Currently listening:august” – Taylor Swift
Currently watching: Gossip Girl S1
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

August did seem to slip away like a bottle of wine. And I really did need the wine this month. Life has been chaotic at work since a lot of things are changing. COVID is still a thing. Boys are stupid. Weather has been violent lately. All in all August was not easy.

When I read my horoscope at the beginning of the year saying that August was going to be a bad month I just pfffffffft it. August is my birthday month, it’s summer, there is no better part of the year to me. Well. My horoscope was right. This August was a doozy. I’m just writing it off as 2020’s fault because anything that can go wrong this year seems to. It’s not my beloved August’s fault. Next year will be better. I pray.

August Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! Check.
  2. Become more interactive on social media! Check. My activity was about the same as last month but given what a hell of a month this was this is definitely a check.
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! No check here. I didn’t have time this month to submit anywhere.
  4. Be nicer to myself. Check? Maybe? I don’t really know. Honestly, I feel like everything I know is a lie at this point and the world is on fire.

September (the month I used to dread but now enjoy) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! Been doing this and will keep doing this till I finish my first draft this year! Gonna get it done. Gonna get it done. I believe in myself. I believe in myself. Yes. This is me telling the universe what I want & therefore hopefully sending out the vibes so I can get it done. (INSPIRATION COME AT ME, I’M READYYYYYYY)
  2. Become more interactive on social media! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter so let’s connect! I definitely need to do better. And if I keep putting this as a goal and making this a habit I. DETERMINEDLY. WILL. GET. BETTER.
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Same as above. I. DETERMINEDLY. WILL. GET. BETTER.
  4. Be more present/observant in my life! Life get’s hectic but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be grateful for every damn day we have. You never know when or what can happen. I want to pay more attention to what’s around me. I want to expand my world. As a writer being observant is an important skill to have to make your writing as authentic as possible, and as a human there is nothing more valuable than being more present in your own life. No matter what happens good or bad. I do believe there is a reason for everything that happens and since time machines don’t exist (yet) we have to savor this moment… because this moment right now will never come again.

What I Read:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I felt different after reading this book. Or, to put it in other words, I felt changed. The way I read it was a little disjointed, with time gaps between some chapters or bunches of chapters. Life got in the way. But this book in its way is also about life, the soul, religion, belief and America. Oh, America…. one day I’ll read this book again and maybe my review will make more sense than this paragraph I’ve cobbled together (is it just me or do a lot of books tend to leave me blubbering speechless with weird rambling reviews…?) this August of 2020 in one of the weirdest time periods of my life – and probably everyone’s life – but for now this will have to do. I enjoyed this book, it changed something in me (gave more levity to my life and grasp on what I value and how I think about things in relation to others) and that’s how you know a book’s good whether you liked it or not. I encourage others to read it if you haven’t already. It’s a weird story but a great one and an honest one I think...(which is honestly my reading vibe 98% of the time). Yeah, yeah, yeah…. Shadow too… I love Shadow. If you need any other reason to read it at all just read it for Shadow. Then that’s good enough for me. But if you really want to understand my garbled mess here then you MUST read the book. It’s very human, or whatever being human means to you. I think you will find that here in this book. Yes.. that’s the right way to put it…
More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn. This book was all the good vibes after the seriousness of American Gods. I needed its slice of life, its sweet moments, its simplicity, its music (and there is so much music in thisssssss) and its healthy romance. There wasn’t any love triangle and there was barely any shenanigans with side characters competing for either MC’s affection. It was more wholesome and I loved that. It makes me want to have my own Luke Greenly to share songs over text with. He’s a down to earth, sweet, BRITISH, caring guy that I am here for. Vada I loved too. She is strong, and she knows who she is and what she wants and she is going TO GO GET IT. Go Vada!!! Go out there and get what you want. Life isn’t just going to hand it to you. Hard work builds the foundation and then one day you’ll make it. Man, did I just make a cute YA romance into a philosophical lesson. Probably, blame Neil Gaiman.
Geekerella by Ashley Poston. I need to read more contemporaries, like, for real. I ADORED this. So MUCH. Geekerella is quite clearly a retelling of Cinderella but for nerds. If that doesn’t sell you already… well. It has falling in love over texts, it has celebrities, it has PUMPKINS, it has cute dogs and badass best friends and everything someone needs in their real life. Friendship, love, adventure and a little magic sprinkled on top. So go read it. Now. Especially if it feels like your life is on fire. Especially.

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

All of my fiction writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

August Round Up of Posts from Wonderful People:

Each of these posts resonated with me in some way. Some are serious, some are funny, but all are beautiful. Keep doing great work out there guys!!

My Round Up of August Posts:

August was a double edged sword. Good thing I like swords. I really believe that through this hell of a month something great will be happening (eventually). How were your months? Did you get a lot done? Do you remember anything fun you did? This month was a blur for me. I feel like I’ve been running with no destination and no end in sight. It will be okay. I keep telling myself and I’ll tell you too. If you had a hell of a month too, I promise it will be okay.

Everything’s okay in the end.

That’s a quote from something I read and since I am a writer (a woman of words) I trust quotes. And wine. Just kidding.

Till next time,

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Writing is Hard | WIP Writing Update | August 2020 | Roxas

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Writing Update | July 2020 | (Guarding Space and Time)

Kingdom Hearts is one of the most beloved video game franchises of all time. Especially to me. Age ten was when this one first fell into my lap. I have always loved video games, and with that love comes a flood of memories. My brother and I opening up a Playstation 2 on Christmas morning together, my brother and I in the following years combining our money so we could buy a GameCube at Toys R Us when that first came out, my brother bringing my Pokemon Sapphire to my Dad’s work and losing my game (and my Skitty which I worked SO HARD to capture!) making me burst into angry tears… but I digress. Video games are something my brother and I have always shared and bonded over, through good times and bad. Kingdom Hearts is part of the good.

It all started when I was invited over to one of my school friends’ house for the first time. Kingdom Hearts was a thing I had known of before but (like Avatar: The Last Airbender when it first came out) I hadn’t originally pursued. My friend said it was good and that we should play, and long story short, I spent that whole play date engrossed in the Destiny Islands.

I remember that it was around the time Kingdom Hearts 2 was coming out. I bought my own copy of the original KH and played and played and played. I got to the Chernabog, legit, right near the final battle and the end of the game but succumbed and ended up starting Kingdom Hearts 2 immediately as soon as I could get my hands on it. That’s when I saw Roxas for the first time.

(ADORABLE *insert gushing & heart eyes here*)

Little to say I never ended up finishing Kingdom Hearts then. So, I’m left with the weird experience of saying I beat Kingdom Hearts 2 first. (Chain of Memories I tried to play too in that time frame but me and those battle controls weren’t jiving…)

I don’t know what it was but as soon as I saw Roxas I loved him. (That is probably as close to love at first sight that I’ll ever get in this lifetime.) The more I played as him and learned about him the more that affection grew and by the end of the prologue of Kingdom Hearts 2… I was devastated. If you’ve ever played the game you’ll know what I mean.

Why am I telling you all this and what does it have to do with my writing journey? Well, that passion of mine birthed into a story. My second attempt at fan fiction, only this time I typed it. Roxas ignited in me a story that I poured hours and hours into, writing way into the wee hours of the night on my old Dell laptop. Minor spoiler alert here but, I put so much effort into that story and would love to show you an awful excerpt but alas it came to a sad conclusion, just like Roxas.

My old Dell ended up crashing and I lost everything.

Including my story.

(moment of silence)

When I die, I pray God will bring that story back to me. Along with all the other little lost things that I’ve lost track of in my life. Like my Mew card, my Pokemon Sapphire game with my Skitty, and that Kingdom Hearts story. It was my first typed story, that along with my Pokemon picture books, and Sailor Moon fanfic notebook I never got to finish.

I guess that’s where I developed this habit of never finishing a story.

The habit I’m determined to break now with my current WIP, The Lowell Saga. I am happy to report that I have started writing! Snippets here and snippets there, but my word count is now on the rise… so progress guys!! I haven’t finished world building yet but I’ve decided to break that down to bits and pieces as I write. I think that’s better than me trying to do all the research in the beginning. That way my imagination can have some fun. Otherwise I know, as in the past, I may lose interest. The further I go with this WIP the more I’m learning about myself. I’ve been outlining a lot this month as well, and narrowing down the plot points I want to hit in this four book saga. It’s honestly…. very exciting.

And these feelings are why I love writing. I love being excited and feeling like yes, yes if this is all I do for the rest of my life I will die happy and fulfilled.

So far this WIP has been in the making for three years. It started as an idea, then research, some writing, afterward letting it simmer for a bit, and now picking it up again in 2020. More inspiration, more researching, and in the present I’m outlining and beginning to write. My process is like a slow burn romance. There’s the interest, and then the simmer as things calm as we get to know each other better, and then more and more kindling (like right where I’m at now) is starting to be thrown into the fire as I pick up on all these little details that I can’t wait to write about. I pray the burn continues this way. I’ll make it so.

That way one day this story will be a wildfire.

Till next time,

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word count: 1,230

Snapshot 7/31/20 // “The Cicadas Are Singing & So Is Taylor Swift”

Currently listening:Homecoming Queen?” – Kelsea Ballerini & THE ENTIRE ALBUM OF FOLKLORE BY TAYLOR SWIFT (such a mood)
Currently watching: The Bold Type
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: American Gods by Neil Gaimon

Is it weird that I think that the music of cicadas in the summertime is one of the most beautiful sounds to listen to in the world? Because I really do, and honestly it is one of the things keeping me grounded in these high flying times.

Summer is and has always been my safe place. I would much rather be hot than cold. I would much rather have more daylight than more night. I would much rather be licking mint ice cream off my lips than hot cocoa from my chin. That’s not to say I don’t love the cold, or the night or hot cocoa. I do. I really do. But summer has always been special to me. In summer, I have no worries… usually.

This summer is different. It looks like summer, feels hot like summer, and sounds like summer with the cicadas outside but as we all know everything is different. Part of me, which I never thought I would actually feel in my entire life, wants summer to end and the fall to come and by doing that hopefully bring an end to this pandemic. The rest of me though is struggling to stay in the moment and appreciate life for what it is right now. Summer… my favorite season…

So that’s where I’m at.

July Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! Check, yes.
  2. Become more interactive on social media! Check. I might have been a little less interactive this month but I was still ON social media so this is a win.
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Check! I was actually asked to submit something this month by Radiate Literary, which is a super cool online literary journal promoting young voices. (If you want to check out the poem I wrote here’s the link……. #kthanksbye #awkwardselfpromo).
  4. Continue to do yoga every morning! Checkity-check. Check.

August (the month which might be when my birthday is…) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! I actually started writing the first draft of my WIP of 2020 this month. (I KNOW.) I didn’t even finish world building or outlining or my original intention of planning… BUT the story called to me. So, I started writing.
  2. Become more interactive on social media! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter so let’s connect! I’m keeping this goal on here because I definitely need to do better. Even though I still checked them somewhat I have to be more proactive. I’m trying. I promise.
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Trying to make this one a habit. I need better time management skills though I feel. This is the goal that honestly falls to the wayside the most.
  4. Be nicer to myself. This one sounds easy but honestly, it might be the hardest goal on this list. I have a tendency to beat myself up pretty badly when I can’t do something I planned to do. I am also the type who constantly assigns blame to myself for things I in no way have any control over. So, this month (my birthday month which is fitting!) I am going to try being kinder to myself and indulge in some self care.

What I Read:

He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. This was so eye opening to read… and brutally honest. This books is meant to give you a major reality check when it comes to dating and guys, and let me tell you it doesn’t disappoint. You will feel a bit naive and, dare I say, stupid after reading it but!!! Not to say also full of hope. With just as many red flags it points out it also uplifts you equally as much. Every chapter ends on a positive note and tells you just how much you are worth finding a good guy, one who is not afraid to show up and be there for you. You’re fabulous, amazing, smart and funny. WE ARE!!!! And we deserve someone who appreciates all of that and doesn’t take us for granted.

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

All of my fiction writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

(Omg look at this gif! It’s so cute!! {not really relevant but… w/e!})

July Round Up of Posts from Wonderful People:

Each of these posts touched my heart and I just wanted to share them with you all in the chance that they might touch your heart too. Times are tough and life is short. Any bit of happiness helps ❤

My Round Up of July Posts:

Hey, hey, hey… have you guys heard Taylor’s new album? Like for real Folklore is my life right now. And forevermore…. it’s too real and raw and I’m drowning and swimming and, like, hiding in the woods in a witch hut surrounded by magic and mystery and sadness and hope with ladybugs flying all around me all at the same time…

What are you listening to?

Till next time,

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